Research reveals globular cluster VVV CL002 is falling toward the center of the galaxy

Credit: arXiv (2023). DOI: 10.48550/arxiv.2312.16028

Astronomers used the Magellan Clay Telescope in Chile to perform spectroscopic observations of the globular cluster VVV CL002. They discovered that star clusters were falling toward the center of the Milky Way. The findings were reported in his research paper published Dec. 26 on the preprint server arXiv. VVV CL002 is located approximately 23,800 light years away. It is a globular cluster with relatively low brightness. He was discovered with the VISTA telescope in 2011 as part of the Via Lactea (VVV) survey. VVV CL002 is thought to be the closest globular cluster to the center of the Milky Way. Recently, a team of astronomers led by Dante Miniti from Universidad Católica Andres Bello in Santiago, Chile, investigated how the VVV CL002 star cluster survives unscathed near the center of the galaxy. Therefore, we decided to perform near-infrared spectroscopic analysis of VVV CL002. tidal waves. For this purpose, the astronomer used his WINERED Echelle spectrometer mounted on the Magellan-Clay telescope.

Observations show that VVV CL002 has a retrograde orbit structure with a relatively high eccentricity of 0.69, and the circumgalactic and distant galactic distances are 619 and 3400 light-years, respectively. The cluster is located deep within the bulge. This study provided important information about the chemical composition of VVV CL002. The metallicity of this cluster was -0.54 and it was found to be rich in alpha elements. This indicates that VVV CL002 is an old cluster. Therefore, according to the authors of this article, VVV CL002 formed outside the central region of the Milky Way, but is now falling toward the center of the galaxy. The astronomers emphasized that further high-resolution observations of VVV CL002 may be needed to better understand the mechanisms of survival and migration of globular clusters.