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Shiva and Shakti Star Streams



  Mar 22, 2024

Shiva and Shakti Star Streams



1. What are the Shiva and Shakti star streams?

The Shiva and Shakti star streams are two ancient formations of stars discovered in the Milky Way galaxy. Named after divine figures in Hindu philosophy symbolizing the creation of the Universe, these streams are among the earliest structures contributing to the galaxy’s formation, dating back over 12 billion years.


2. How were the Shiva and Shakti streams discovered?

These streams were discovered through the European Space Agency’s Gaia space telescope. Gaia’s observations allowed astronomers to analyze the orbits, content, and chemical composition of individual stars within the Milky Way, leading to the identification of these unique structures.


3. What is the significance of these streams?

The discovery of Shiva and Shakti provides valuable insights into the early formation processes of the Milky Way. They suggest the galaxy originated from multiple long, irregular filaments of gas and dust that coalesced to form stars and eventually the galaxy as we know it. These streams also help fill gaps in our understanding of the Milky Way’s earliest cosmic history.


4. How old are the stars within these streams?

The stars within the Shiva and Shakti streams are aged between 12 to 13 billion years, making them some of the oldest stars in the Milky Way. Their ancient nature and the conditions under which they formed offer a glimpse into the early universe’s chemical composition.


5. What makes Shiva and Shakti different from each other?

While both streams share similarities in their formation and age, they are not identical. The stars in Shakti orbit slightly further from the Milky Way’s center and follow more circular paths than those in Shiva, indicating subtle differences in their origins and evolution within the galaxy.


6. What will future observations of these streams reveal?

Future data releases from the Gaia telescope are expected to provide further details about the Shiva and Shakti streams, as well as potentially uncovering more ancient structures within the Milky Way. These observations will continue to enhance our understanding of the galaxy’s formation and its complex history.



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