Earlier, in theoretical models, there was information that in the interstellar medium, elements heavier than helium and hydrogen are homogeneously mixed and have reached the level of chemical enrichment. A similar thing happens in the sun’s atmosphere: it is called solar metallicity.
But the authors of the new work denied this information: they found out that the gases do not mix so much. This will affect the previously constructed models of the evolution of galaxies.
The process of nucleosynthesis – the formation of nuclei of chemical elements heavier than hydrogen – enriches the interstellar medium, usually consisting only of hydrogen and helium, also with atoms of other heavy elements.
The authors of the new work appreciated how correct this theory is: they used the atmosphere of 25 stars and studied it with two telescopes – Hubble and VLT (Very Large Telescope). In order to measure the dust content, scientists have applied a new method.
As a result, it turned out that the interstellar medium is inhomogeneous. Even more – in some regions the metallicity was only 10% of the solar one.
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