Astronomers have recently revealed that a strange star, dubbed J1124+4535, is most likely from another, far, far away galaxy.
Hiding right there, in plain sight, up in the Ursa Major constellation, the star group famous for being the home of the Big Dipper, astr0nomers noticed a star unlike any other in the Milky Way.
The bizarre celestial body has an extremely unusual chemical signature scientists found, revealing it came from a galaxy far, far away.
To find out the peculiarities hiding behind the mystery star, astronomers turned to a spectroscopic telescope in China that can analyze a star’s spectrum. Observations revealed that this star bears a fraction of magnesium and iron seen among its neighbors.
This was odd, so scientists decided to do follow-up observations.
Using the Subaru Telescope in Japan, they confirmed that the star was one of the strongest ever found.
In fact, astronomers say that the ratio of europium in the star is unlike anything ever seen in any other star in our galaxy.
This fact is what got scientists to think that the mystery sun may be an alien intruder from another galaxy, most likely a cosmic wanderer that once belonged to a dwarf galaxy that was once devoured by our own galaxy.
“Stars like this one have been found in present-day dwarf galaxies, providing the clearest chemical signature of past accretion events onto the Milky Way,” the authors revealed in a study published in Nature.
And while such a star is rare and stands out from the rest of the stars, it doesn’t mean by any means its alone in the universe.
In the past, astronomers have encountered other stars that have similar low metal contents, flying around the outermost parts of the Milky Way.
“Stars form from clouds of interstellar gas,” reveals a press release from the Subaru Telescope.
“The element ratios of the parent cloud impart an observable chemical signature on stars formed in that cloud. So stars formed close together have similar element ratios.”
“Galaxy evolution models and simulations suggest that galaxies like the Milky Way grow by absorbing neighboring dwarf galaxies. Thus, it makes sense that J1124+4535 was born in a now-vanished dwarf galaxy which merged into the Milky Way.”