Online:
Visits:
Stories:
Profile image
By ScienceBlogs (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

Elements of Life Discovered Everywhere in the Milky Way (Synopsis) [Starts With a Bang]

Friday, January 6, 2017 9:33
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.” -Douglas Adams

If you want to know how many and what type of chemical elements are present in a star system, you need to make a dizzying, intricate array of observations. You need to break up the light from the star into its component wavelengths and look for the signatures of absorption and emission lines corresponding to each individual element you’re seeking, while simultaneously accounting for effects like temperature and ionization.

The mid-infrared, near-infrared and visible light images of the galactic center. Note how many more of the stars are visible in the infrared than the visible. Image credit: ESO / ATLASGAL Consortium / NASA / GLIMPSE Consortium / VVV Survey / ESA / Planck / D. Minniti / S. Guisard / Ignacio Toledo / Martin Kornmesser.

The mid-infrared, near-infrared and visible light images of the galactic center. Note how many more of the stars are visible in the infrared than the visible. Image credit: ESO / ATLASGAL Consortium / NASA / GLIMPSE Consortium / VVV Survey / ESA / Planck / D. Minniti / S. Guisard / Ignacio Toledo / Martin Kornmesser.

This is made extra difficult by the fact that most of the Milky Way is obscured by gas, dust and other neutral matter. But thanks to the infrared instruments on the wide-field Sloan Digital Sky Survey, over 150,000 stars have had their spectra taken, located throughout the Milky Way, and the results are spectacular. In particular, the center of our galaxy has more heavy elements than we do, potentially meaning that it could have begun harboring life billions of years earlier.

The elements found necessary to life are found throughout the galaxy, but are far more abundant, on average, towards the galactic center. Image credit: Dana Berry/SkyWorks Digital, Inc.; SDSS collaboration.

The elements found necessary to life are found throughout the galaxy, but are far more abundant, on average, towards the galactic center. Image credit: Dana Berry/SkyWorks Digital, Inc.; SDSS collaboration.

The elements of life are everywhere, but they’re not equally distributed at all locations. Come find out what it means and what we’ve learned!



Source: http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2017/01/06/elements-of-life-discovered-everywhere-in-the-milky-way-synopsis/

Report abuse

Comments

Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories

Register

Newsletter

Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.