Date:

NGC 6652 globular cluster close to 13.6 billion years old, one of the oldest objects in Milky Way

Senior Research Associate Margarita Sharina (Special Astrophysical Observatory) and Associate Professor Vladislav Shimansky (Kazan Federal University) studied the globular cluster NGC 6652.4.05957 and found out that its age is close to 13.6 billion years, which makes it one of the oldest objects in the Milky Way.

Globular clusters are mostly situated tens and hundreds of thousands of light years from Earth, and only the brightest stars in them can actually be studied. Margarita Sharina, a Kazan Federal University alumna, came up with the idea of researching the spectra of full star clusters several years ago.

Together with Vladislav Shimansky, she developed Cluster, a special software package to model such spectra. During their joint work, the two scientists have determined fundamental characteristics of almost 40 globular clusters.

In this paper, they analyzed the spectra of NGC 6652 obtained by the Cerro Tololo Observatory. The overall ratio of heavy elements in the cluster turned out to be unusually high. Furthermore, some anomalies in the ratio of several elements (carbon, nitrogen, sodium, magnesium, calcium, and titanium).

- Advertisement -

“For a long time, the consensus was that the younger the galactic object is, the higher its metallicity. Closer to the late 20th century, astronomers started to move away from this viewpoint,” explains Shimansky. “NGC 6652 is a rather old globular cluster, its age is about 13.6 billion years, according to various estimates. At the same time, its metallicity is rather high. The reason, hypothetically, is its unusual dynamics – the matter which formed the cluster has passed through the galactic disk multiple times and amassed the heavy elements synthesized there.”

Studying globular clusters with up to a million stars can help research the early stages of the Universe.

During this past decade, many large telescopes have been observing galactic and extragalactic globular clusters – natural laboratories which facilitate the studies of stars and galaxies. Many more interesting discoveries are to be made after more data is deciphered, concludes Shimansky.

KAZAN FEDERAL UNIVERSITY

Header Image – NGC 6652 – Image Credit : Kazan University

- Advertisement -
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is an award winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education and the BCA Medal of Honour.

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Prison bakery for enslaved people found in Roman Pompeii

Archaeologists have uncovered a Prison bakery during recent excavations in Pompeii.

Baboons in Ancient Egypt were raised in captivity before being mummified

In a new study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, researchers examined a collection of baboon mummies from the ancient Egyptian site of Gabbanat el-Qurud, the so-called Valley of the Monkeys on the west bank of Luxor.

Archaeologists find 22 mummified burials in Peru

A Polish-Peruvian team of archaeologists have uncovered 22 mummified burials in Barranca, Peru.

Oldest prehistoric fortress found in remote Siberia

An international team, led by archaeologists from Freie Universität Berlin has uncovered an ancient prehistoric fortress in a remote region of Siberia known as Amnya.

Top 10 archaeological discoveries of 2023

The field of archaeology has been continuously evolving in 2023, making significant strides in uncovering new historical findings, preserving cultural heritage, and employing innovative technologies to study the past.

War in Ukraine sees destruction of cultural heritage not witnessed since WW2

The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 has resulted in a significant loss of human lives and the national and international displacement of many Ukrainian people.

Archaeologists find five Bronze Age axes in the forests of Kociewie

According to an announcement by the Pomeranian Provincial Conservator of Monuments, archaeologists have discovered five Bronze Age axes in Starogard Forest District, located in Kociewie, Poland.

Origins of English Christmas traditions

Christmas embodies a tapestry of ritual traditions and customs shared by many countries and cultures. Some hearken back to ancient times, while others represent more recent innovations.