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We live in a "distorted and twisted" galaxy according to the Milky Way's first accurate 3D map




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Artistic representation of the distorted and twisted disk of the Milky Way Chen Xiaodian

How do you measure something in which you are? We all have countless Seen from our own Milky Way galaxy, but have you ever thought about it: none of them are real.All are artistic impressions of how astronomers probably think the Milky Way is similar.

We now know that the Milky Way is not flat: Astronomers from the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) and Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, have just published in Nature Astronomy an article that unveils the Milky Way "Distorted, twisted and exposed "Far from the center of the Milky Way.

" Usually we think that spiral galaxies are quite flat, like Andromeda, easily seen through a telescope, [ProfessorRicharddeGrijseinCo-AutorundAstronomerofMacQuarieUniversity

The Andromeda Galaxy or M31. Getty

How does the Milky Way work?

If viewed from a great distance, the Milky Way would look like a thin disk of stars orbiting once every few hundred million years around its central region. The estimated 300 billion stars, along with a mass of dark matter, provide the gravity glue to hold everything together, astronomers say.

What causes the S-shaped fault?

What's wrong? are hydrogen clouds in the outer galaxy. It is the change of attraction far away from the inner region of the galaxy that causes the S-shaped warp of the Milky Way. "It's known to be difficult to determine distances from the sun to parts of the Milky Way's outer gas disk without having a clear idea of ​​what that disk actually looks like," Dr. Chen Xiaodian, researcher at the NAOC and lead author of the article. "However, we have recently published a new catalog of well-behaved variable stars, known as classical Cepheids, for which distances can be determined with an accuracy of 3 to 5%."

RS Puppis is one of the brightest known Cepheid Variables in the Milky Way. Hubble Space Telescope

What is a Cepheid star?

Yellow bright giant and supergiant stars. Cepheid stars are often referred to as "cosmic standards" or "standard candles of 19459024 ", and much that astronomers know about distances in the universe is based on observations of these young pulsating stars. In the study, 1,339 Cepheids were examined, each up to 100,000 brighter than the Sun.

Why are Cepheid Stars important ?

Cepheids pulsate predictably, so changes in their luminosity can be used a very reliable distance . The team used "classic" Cepheids that pulsate for days or months. Cepheids were first discovered in 1912 by Henrietta Swan Leavitt at Harvard College Observatory, after studying thousands of variable stars in the Magellanic Clouds, two dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way. Her work was then used by Edwin Hubble to find that some of the nebulae seen from Earth were actually distant galaxies. These data were then used to calculate the further the galaxy moves away, the faster it moves away from us: the Hubble constant describing the expanding universe .

For astronomers in China and Australia The data for these classic Cepheid stars were provided by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) with which the team used the first accurate 3D image of our Milky Way galaxy the outermost regions could develop.

NASA or WISE's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer will launch in 2009. WISE scans the entire sky in infrared light, absorbing the glow of hundreds of millions of objects and producing millions of images. NASA

Why is that important?

"We found to our surprise that in 3D, our collection of 1,339 Cepheid stars and the gas disk of the Milky Way closely follow each other, providing new insights into the origin of our home galaxy," by Grijs. "Perhaps more importantly, in the outer regions of the Milky Way, we have found that the S-like star disc is warped in a progressively twisted spiral pattern."

"This new morphology provides an important updated map for studies of the stellar motions of our planet Galaxy and the emergence of the disc of the Milky Way " said Dr. Deng Licai, senior researcher at the NAOC and co-author of the newspaper.

What causes the Warp ?

In the last 50 years there has been evidence that the hydrogen clouds in the Milky Way have warped. Astronomers have observed a dozen other galaxies showing similar progressively twisted spiral patterns in their outer regions. "If we combine our findings with these other observations, we have come to the conclusion that the warped spiral pattern of the Milky Way is most likely caused by" torques "or rotational drive through the massive inner disk," Dr. Liu Chao, senior researcher and co-author of the newspaper.

I wish you clear skies and big eyes

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Impression of the artist from the warped and twisted disk of the Milky Way. Chen Xiaodian

How do you measure something in which you are? but have you ever thought about it: none of them is real, all are the artists' impressions of how astronomers think the Milky Way is likely.

We now know that the Milky Way is not The astronomers of the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) and Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, have recently published an article in Nature Astronomy that describes the Milky Way as "warped, twisted, and distorted." identifies "Far from the center of the Milky Way"

"Usually we think that spiral galaxies are quite flat And, like Andromeda, which can easily be seen through a telescope, "says Professor Richard de Grijs, co-author and astronomer of Macquarie University [19659] 035] The Andromeda Galaxy or M31 Getty

How It Works the Milky Way?

Seen from a great distance, the Milky Way would look like a thin disk of stars orbiting once every few hundred million years around its central region. The estimated 300 billion stars, along with a mass of dark matter, provide the gravity glue to hold everything together, astronomers say.

What causes the S-shaped fault?

What's wrong? are hydrogen clouds in the outer galaxy. It is the change of attraction far away from the inner region of the galaxy that causes the S-shaped warp of the Milky Way. "It's known to be difficult to determine the distance of the sun to parts of the Milky Way's outer gas disk without having a clear idea of ​​what that disk looks like," Dr. Chen Xiaodian, researcher at the NAOC and lead author of the article. "However, we have recently published a new catalog of well-behaved variable stars, known as classical Cepheids, for which distances can be determined with an accuracy of 3 to 5%."

RS Puppis is one of the brightest known Cepheid variables the Milky Way. Hubble Space Telescope

What is a Cepheid star?

Yellow, bright giant and supergiant stars. Cepheid stars are often referred to as "cosmic standards" or "standard candles", and much that astronomers know about distances in the universe is based on observations of these young pulsating stars. In the study, 1,339 Cepheids were examined, each up to 100,000 brighter than the Sun.

Why are Cepheid Stars important ?

Cepheids pulsate predictably, so changes in their luminosity can be used for a very reliable distance. The team used "classic" Cepheids that pulsate for days or months. Cepheids were first discovered in 1912 by Henrietta Swan Leavitt at the Harvard College Observatory, after studying thousands of variable stars in the Magellanic Clouds, two dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way. Her work was then used by Edwin Hubble to find that some of the nebulae seen from Earth were actually distant galaxies. These data were then used to calculate the further the galaxy moves away, the faster it moves away from us: the Hubble constant, which describes the expanding universe.

For astronomers in China and Australia Data on these classic Cepheid stars was provided by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), with which the team is the first accurate 3D image of our Milky Way far into the outer regions WISE scans the entire sky in infrared light, absorbing the glow of hundreds of millions of objects and producing millions of images. NASA

Why is that important? [19659003] "To our surprise, we found out that in 3D, our collection of 1,339 Cepheid stars and the gas disk of the Milky Way closely follow each other, providing new insights into the origin of our home galaxy", de Grijs. "Perhaps more importantly, we've found in the outer regions of the Milky Way that the S-like star disc is warped in a progressively twisted spiral pattern."

"This new morphology provides an important updated map for studies of stellar motions of our galaxy and the origins of the Milky Way disk," . Deng Licai, senior researcher at NAOC and co-author of the newspaper.

What causes the Warp ?

] Over the last 50 years, there has been evidence that the clouds of hydrogen in the Milky Way have disappeared. Astronomers have observed a dozen other galaxies showing similar progressively twisted spiral patterns in their outer regions. "If we combine our findings with these other observations, we have come to the conclusion that the warped spiral pattern of the Milky Way is most likely due to" torques "or rotational drive of the massive inner disk," Dr. Liu Chao, senior researcher and co-author of the paper.

I wish you clear skies and big eyes

If you liked this article, you might also like these:

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