Density Map Shows 219 Million Stars in Northern Part of Milky Way

Density Map Shows 219 Million Stars in Northern Part of Milky Way

A team of Astronomers from University of Hertfordshire has spent 10 years to count 219 million stars in Milky Way’s northern region. The team has placed the data on a density map with latitude and longitude coordinates from galaxy’s centre.

According to Royal Astronomical Society, which supports astronomical research, University of Hertfordshire’s team has used Isaac Newton Telescope on La Palma in Canary Islands to count the stars.

Milky Way’s disk has the majority of its stars and it stretches 100,000 light years. It is difficult for naked eye to count discerning individual stars in Milky Way’s northern section, but Isaac Newton Telescope, a 2.54 m optical telescope, has helped astronomers count nearly 219 million bright stars in the area and has characterized some of them by more than 90 attributes.

To get an idea about density of the stars in each region, astronomers have placed the stars on the map, which helped them gain insight into the structure of a star, gas and dust.

IPHAS DR2 catalogue, second data release, gives access to the measurements taken through two broad band filters recording light at visible spectrum’s red end, and in H-alpha, a narrow band capturing the brightest hydrogen emission line.

H-alpha also allows imaging of the nebulae, an interstellar cloud of gas, found in greatest number in Milky Way’s disk.

The density map has shown the difference between dust-filled region and bright regions packed with stars. According to the map, brighter regions mean there are numbers of stars.

The disk of Milky Way is the densest region of the galaxy, which has extended over 100,000 light-years. The disk is populated with stars, dust and gases, but it is not possible for naked eye to discern individual objects.

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