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Earthdate 2004-04-30

The Geneva-Copenhagen Survey of Sun-like Stars in the Milky Way

The journal Nature, noting that “[b]asic information about our solar neighbourhood is still surprisingly incomplete,” points to recent results which lift part of that gloom of ignorance about our own stellar backyard, as a result of the Geneva-Copenhagen survey of Sun-like stars in the Milky Way. 1

B. Nordstrom et al. have catalogued the precise three-dimensional motions, ages, temperatures and compositions of more than 14,000 stars.  The research required roughly 63,000 individual velocity observations spread over 15 years, and includes almost all the Sun-like stars within 150 light years of Earth.

The survey reveals that about one third of the stars exist in binary systems, and that current models describing the dynamical heating of disk stars seem unable to match data that relate the ages and velocities of the stars.  The team concludes that the history of our galaxy is much more turbulent than previously thought.


Reference

1 Nature, Vol. 428, Issue No. 6985 (Issue dated 2004-04-22), p. 817.  Requires subscription or pay-per-view.


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