Globular Clusters – Giving Clues to the History of Space
May 17, 2012
For the first time ever Korean researchers have verified the existence of a globular cluster which is made up of approximately one million stars. Because most of the celestial bodies composing globular clusters were given birth to in the early days of space's creation, confirming the presence of the clusters is seen to provide a significant clue in researching the process of the creation and evolution of the universe.
Professor LEE Myung Gyoon of SNU's Department of Physics & Astronomy, this May's "Scientist of the Month" chosen by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), and Seoul Economy Newspaper, mentioned that "this achievement will provoke further research internationally" and that he would do his best to upgrade the level of astronomy research in Korea to the world standard in his acceptance speech.
Globular clusters are found mostly in galaxies. About 160 globular clusters have been found to exist in our galaxy. Up to now, scientists have assumed that the clusters are forming a gigantic frame in the center of galaxies. The recent research of Professor Lee, however, has identified that the clusters revolve around heavy galaxies or that they move from one galaxy to another.
The research team took the Virgo cluster of galaxies, the nearest one from the earth, as their object of study and carried out their research by analyzing the data collected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. In doing so, the team was able to complete the map of globular clusters in the Virgo cluster of galaxies and suggested that globular clusters are found far from the center and that most globular clusters are celestial bodies that were created in the early days of space.