Most detailed ever 3D map of Milky Way shows 'warped' shape

signal

Member
Oct 28, 2017
18,669




The most detailed three-dimensional map yet of the Milky Way has been revealed, showing that our galaxy is not a flat disc but has a “warped” shape like a fascinator hat or a vinyl record that has been left in the sun.

“The stars 60,000 light years away from the Milky Way’s centre are as far as 4,500 [light years] above or below the galactic plane – this is a big percentage,” said Dr Dorota Skowron of the University of Warsaw, first author of the latest research. Both the new study and an earlier one published in February, which found a similar shape, are based on the distribution across the galaxy of stars known as Cepheids – bodies whose brightness varies in a regular cycle over time. This phenomenon of dimming and brightening is the key to creating the maps.
Prof Richard de Grijs of Macquarie University, who co-authored the earlier Cepheid study, said there were a number of explanations for our galaxy’s warp. These include mergers with smaller galaxies, or the gravitational pull of the Milky Way being weaker in its outer regions meaning bodies there might be deflected out of the galactic plane by the tug of other stars. Alternatively, he said, “gravitational interactions with nearby galaxies … could distort the gravitationally weakly bound outer regions into a warp-like structure”.
A warped galaxy was not unusual, said Skowron. “In fact, it is estimated that about half of the galaxies could have some detectable warping. However the warp of our galaxy is quite substantial in comparison with others.”

As with the previous work, the new study shows the Cepheids disproportionately lie on one side of the warped galaxy, forming an arc-shaped spread.
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DarkChronic

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,198
This is awesome - I love stuff like that. I'm guessing that big yellow spot with the lines is our sun? I always thought we were closer to the edge for some reason - this makes it look like we're more towards the center.
 
Jul 18, 2018
1,960
This is awesome - I love stuff like that. I'm guessing that big yellow spot with the lines is our sun? I always thought we were closer to the edge for some reason - this makes it look like we're more towards the center.
Click the second link, Guardian. They show a time lapse of our Galaxy over million of years and our Sun. See location changing over time
 

Peltz

Banned
Oct 26, 2017
3,374
Really makes you appreciate how insignificant we are and how much we have to learn. We can only barely see this now. We’ll be long gone before we are ever able to really know what it’s like to be in other parts of the galaxy.
 
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signal

signal

Member
Oct 28, 2017
18,669
Really makes you appreciate how insignificant we are and how much we have to learn. We can only barely see this now. We’ll be long gone before we are ever able to really know what it’s like to be in other parts of the galaxy.
I refuse to die until I see a pulsar in space with my own eyes