EDP Sciences

2019 Press releases

A nearby river of stars

Based on the article "Extended stellar systems in the solar neighborhood. II. Discovery of a nearby 120° stellar stream in Gaia DR2", by Meingast et al.

Published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, 2019, 622, L13

Astronomy & Astrophysics publishes the work of researchers from the University of Vienna, who have found a river of stars, a stellar stream in astronomical parlance, covering most of the southern sky. The stream is relatively nearby and contains at least 4000 stars that have been moving together in space since they formed, about 1 billion years ago. Due to its proximity to Earth, this stream is a perfect workbench on which to test the disruption of clusters, measure the gravitational field of the Milky Way, and learn about coeval extrasolar planet populations with upcoming planet-finding missions. For their search, the authors used data from the ESA Gaia satellite.