A fossilised remnant of the early Milky Way harbouring stars of hugely different ages has been revealed by an international team of astronomers. This stellar system resembles a globular cluster, but is like no other cluster known. It contains stars remarkably similar to the most ancient stars in the Milky Way and bridges the gap in understanding between our galaxy’s past and its present.
Terzan 5, 19 000 light-years from Earth, has been classified as a globular cluster for the forty-odd years since its detection. Now, an Italian-led team of astronomers have discovered that Terzan 5 is like no other globular cluster known.