Detailed 3D Milky Way map reveals warped Galaxy

Detailed 3D Milky Way map reveals warped Galaxy

Detailed 3D Milky Way map reveals warped Galaxy

A new 3-D map brings the contorted structure of the Milky Way's disk into better view, thanks to measurements of special stars called Cepheids, scientists report in the August 2 Science.

Building an accurate map of the Milky Way is not easy.

These stars have one thing in common: they pulse very regularly in a clock, the abbhängt of their respective brightness. Despite these limitations, we know that the Milky Way is a spiral galaxy measuring around 120,000 light-years across, and that we're located around 27,000 light-years from the galactic core.

We sit along an outer arm of a massive, spiralling disk of gas, dust, and a billion stars. The Team Skowron certain, therefore, the Position and distance of 2431 so-called Cepheids-stars in the milky way. Better yet, the stars used in this sample would belong to a specific, well-studied type to ensure observational accuracy.

"Cepheids are ideal to study the Milky Way for several reasons", added the University of Warsaw astronomer and study co-author Dorota Skowron.

The images demonstrate that the galaxy is warped into a wave, like the brim of a straw hat.

A large-scale 3D map shows the edges of the Milky Way bend slightly, giving it a warped S shape.

They saw a significant warp developing at the edges of the Milky Way. "This is a big percentage".

What caused this curvature is yet unknown although there are some possible explanations, including a near-collision with another galaxy and dark matter.

In February, a study challenged the long-standing idea that the Milky Way is shaped like a flat disc.

But maps like the one Skowron and her colleagues built can help complement that mission due to the reliability of cepheid distance measurements. These stars were first discovered by astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt in 1908 and are very young in their formation process. The new map was formulated utilizing exact estimations of the distance from the sun to 2,400 stars called "Cepheid variables" dispersed all through the galaxy.

The study states that bending of the galaxy begins about 26,000 light years away from its centre, near where our own solar system exists, and becomes increasingly stronger from about 32,000 light years.

The 1.3 metre Warsaw telescope in the Chilean Andes is used for the OGLE survey, and it can monitor the brightness of stars and measure their properties for years. However, the Galactic map drafted by those limited observations remains incomplete. The results of the simulation look remarkably similar to the real map.

The new three dimensional map has been published in the journal Science, reports British Broadcasting Corporation. Nonetheless, he still liked the new science. "Yet they found pretty much the same result, which is comforting!" "Cepheid variables are bright supergiant stars and they are 100 to 10,000 times more luminous than the sun, so we can detect them on the outskirts of our galaxy".

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