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The Milky Way’s Bulge: From a Hypothesized Blob to a Remarkably Detailed Picture

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The Milky Way’s Bulge: From a Hypothesized Blob to a Remarkably Detailed Picture
David Nataf of Johns Hopkins University

The central bulge of our Milky Way galaxy is host to roughly 30 percent of its stars, including a substantial fraction of both the oldest stars and the most metal-rich stars. The ages of the stars indicate that some formed via hierarchical collapse early in the universe, while most formed later on, due to dynamical processes within the disk. The differences in chemical abundances among the stars may have effects on the formation of planets and the evolution of life. Astronomers’ understanding and characterization of the Milky Way bulge creates a relatively complex picture, but it is still incomplete.

Host: Dr. Frank Summers

Recorded live on Tuesday, July 3 at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

More information: http://hubble.stsci.edu/about_us/public_talks/

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