The researchers analyzed the recording of sound waves created by starquakes-very rare phenomena of oscillations and bursts of energy created by stars-to determine the direction of rotation of stars. These phenomena allow scientists to differently look and understand the state of the universe when the stars just started their formation.
“Seismologists are following earthquakes to better understand the inner composition of our planet. We use starquakes to better understand what stars consist of, “says Dennis Stello, one of the researchers at the University of New South Wales, Australia.
“Our new study provides the first evidence of the effectiveness of using this method to study the processes that occurred billions of years ago, when the universe was just beginning.”
Listen to how the quake sounds, you can click on this link.
The recording of such phenomena for ordinary people may seem like the usual background noise of space, but for scientists it can contain very useful information. In the latest study, scientists studied 48 red giant stars in the two ancient star clusters within the Milky Way. Scientists believe that one cluster was formed more than 2 billion years ago, another – more than 8 billion years.
“Star Crèche” – a cluster of giant clouds of gas and dust, colliding with each other and forming star clusters – in fact, it is very difficult to learn directly. Why? Just because of the high density of gas and dust contained in them. Therefore, instead of the usual method of searching for the source of the nature of stars, astronomers had to adapt themselves to another – literally listen to what they are “told” by the ancient clusters of stars.
“The benefit of listening to ancient star clusters is that the received data excludes interference from gas and dust, but the stars retain some kind of signature of their original states when they were still in the cloud in which they were born,” says Stello.
Using the Kepler space observatory, a team of researchers conducted a four-year observation of starquakes and other fluctuations. Ultimately, this allowed scientists to find out that the rotation angle of 70 percent of the observed stars was aligned.
“The results for us were unexpected: we found that the rotation of most of the stars were aligned with each other,” says Stello.
“Previously, it was assumed that a strong turbulence can affect the energy of rotation of clouds in which stars are formed, and prevent such alignment.”
What benefit can it bring in the future? Firstly, it allows us to look at all these “star creches” in a different way, and secondly, opens a new opportunity to understand how the universe could look a few billion years ago.
“It’s amazing that the prints of the initial states of stars even after billions of years can be determined and studied. And all thanks to the analysis of the oscillations of the stars that are in many light years from us, “Stello says.