A group of Spanish and Italian astronomers have published a paper in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics which refers to the globular cluster E3 as a “ghost from the Milky Way’s past,” and this is largely because the mysterious cluster succeeded thousands of others that formed 13,000 million years ago – approximately the time our own galaxy was formed.
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Carlos de la Fuente Marcos, one of the leading researchers explained that "This globular cluster, and a few similar ones – such as Palomar 5 or Palomar 14 – are ghosts because they appear to be in the last stages of their existence, and we say ´from the past´ because they are very old. They were formed when our galaxy was virtually new-born, 13,000 million years ago."
The E3 is found nearly 30,000 light years away in the southern constellation Chameleon.
If not for the Very Large Telescope situated in the European Southern Observatory in Chile, the E3 would not have been discovered because it dwells far behind brighter objects that are found between the globular cluster of stars and the Earth.
De la Fuente Marcos stated that most clusters have millions of stars contained within them, but E3 has only tens of thousands; and then, the body lacks the round shape of most other clusters – having a distorted and rhomboid shape that has become misshapen by gravitational waves from other galaxies.
Researchers from Michigan State University released a finding published in The Astrophysical Journal stating that E3 lacks multiple star populations in the inside of it.
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This raises the possibility that E3 may have been formed in a block of one episode as likely occurred when our galaxy formed. Marcos stated that massive star clusters having millions of stars were created but these have all become dead or gave way to the rise of others just as can be said with E3; helping astronomers to obtain knowledge into how our Milky Way formed in its early days.