July 31, 2017
Joanne Hughes, associate professor of physics, published a paper in the Astronomical Journal with a team that included five SU students and alumni. The paper, “A Multiwavelength Study of the Segue 3 Cluster,” describes an imaging study of a two- to three-billion-year-old star cluster, using the Apache Point Observatory's 3.5-m Telescope.
The authors describe how they determined that the sparse group of stars is not native to our galaxy, being too rich in iron and too young to belong to our outer halo, at a distance of about 95,000 light-years from Earth. The Milky Way’s own halo globular clusters are all more than three times older than Segue 3, indicating that large spiral galaxies such as ours are still accreting dwarf galaxies and stripping them of stars, gas and star clusters.
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