Uncovering the birthplace of the Sun in the Milky Way


O Sol, observado pela sonda Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), da NASA.

An international team, which includes the Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA) researcher Vardan Adibekyan, has discovered a way to estimate the birthplaces of stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. The paper was published today in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The team used a sample of about 600 stars in the vicinity of the Sun, observed with the high-resolution spectrograph HARPS, mounted on ESO‘s 3.6-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory (Chile). Thanks to the very precise characterization of the mass and metallicity1 of these stars, much of which done by IA researchers for stars where exoplanets are known to exist, the team discovered that the stars were born scattered throughout the galactic disk, with the older ones migrating from the innermost areas of the disk.

Learn more » (only in Portuguese)


  1. In astronomy, elements other than hydrogen and helium are commonly referred to as “metals”. The metallicity of a star refers to the amount of “metals” in its composition.