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The outer arms of the Milky Way galaxy may be rougher than previously thought

By recognizing the roughness of the outer arms of the Milky Way, scientists have made new discoveries about our galaxy that could dramatically change the long-held notion of its shape.

We may need to change our assumptions about what the Milky Way galaxy looks like from the outside. While the general image for the Milky Way galaxy is a bar spiral with long, well-proportioned arms, the important challenge is that we have taken this impression from the data collected from inside the galaxy, which provides an incomplete view of its exterior. But Hubble Space Telescope's new work, based on measurements of distance to cosmic objects, shows that at least part of the galaxy's outer arms may be larger and more muscular than previously thought. According to the Hubble Research Team and in an article published in the Astrophysical Journal, predictions that this shape of the arm until 1971 indicated the existence of a set of arms on the outer edge of the galaxy.

"It is very likely that the outer disk of the Milky Way is similar to the nearby galaxy Messier 83 with short, fragmented arms," said Josh Peek, an astronomer at the Baltimore Space Telescope Science Institute.>

  • Hubble captures stunning image of spiral galaxy near Milky Way

. Mapping our galaxy usually involves trying to measure the distance to the various objects in it. Scientists can use masers (by weight of lasers), which are naturally radio sources that occur in areas with large numbers of massive stars. But because masers are not ubiquitous, scientists often need to use other techniques to approximate distances on a galactic scale.

BingMag.com The <b>outer</b> <b>arms</b> of the <b>Milky</b> <b>Way</b> <b>galaxy</b> <b>may</b> be <b>rougher</b> <b>than</b> <b>previously</b> thought

Astronomers created a new map of the Milky Way by measuring the location of natural radio sources known as maser (pink dots on the right) and dust clouds (blue dots). .
Robert L. Hurt (Caltech, IPAC), Leah Hustak (STScI)

Another step is to use how gas clouds move, but the challenge with this method is to predict these movements based on current incomplete information. . Ideally, the measured motion of a gas cloud is directly related to its distance due to the total rotation of the Milky Way, allowing scientists to determine the structure of the galaxy, NASA said.

  • Milky Way galaxy

A new study raises the question of what happens if a gas cloud can make random movements. Creating three-dimensional dust maps requires observing the colors of clusters of stars across the sky. Stars with a lot of dust between them and the telescope look redder than their natural color, according to NASA.

Hubble data actually showed more complexity than previously thought for Perseus' arm. . Observations of dust clouds show that, contrary to what other studies have assumed, the clouds are not at arm's length (approximately 6,000 light-years), but at a distance of about 10,000 light-years.

Now, the Hubble team It also intends to focus its observations on the central part of the Milky Way galaxy to gain a better understanding of how the galaxy as a whole is formed. Catherine Zucker, a Hubble mission colleague and member of the STScI research team, plans to use three-dimensional dust maps using infrared observations of one billion to two billion red stars blown by dust.

<"By linking these new dust maps by examining existing gas velocities, astronomers can map an existing map of the inner Milky Way galaxy," NASA said, noting that more information may be available from other observatories. Correct as they have done before on the outer part of the Milky Way. "Study ideas are accepted for telescope time."
  • A fossilized galaxy discovered deep in the Milky Way

The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope could use infrared light to map dust across the entire galaxy in a matter of hours, perhaps for the first time beyond the Milky Way. In addition, the Vera Rubin Observatory can carry out observations from far-flung points that, when combined with the Roman telescope capability, can cover far distances.

Cover Photo: Design Graphics of the ever-imagining shape of the Milky Way
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Source: Space

Tags: outer, arms, milky, way, galaxy, may, rougher, than, previously, thought

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