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




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The artist's impression on the twisted and twisted disk of the Milky Way.Chen Xiaodian

How & nbsp; you measure what you are in & nbsp; We've all seen countless images of our Milky Way, but have you ever wondered: none of them is real. They are all impressions of artists about what astronomers think that the Milky Way is probably 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 published an article in Nature Astronomy which reveals the Milky Way, to be "warped, twisted and flared" away from the center of the Milky Way.

"We usually think about spiral galaxies as completely flat, such as Andromeda, which can be easily seen through a telescope," says Professor Richard de Grijs, co-author and astronomer at Macquarie University.

The Andromeda or M31 galaxy.Getty

How does the Milky Way work?

Looking from far away, the Milky Way galaxy would look like a thin disk of stars orbiting once every several hundred million years around its central region. It is estimated that 300 billion stars, together with a mass of dark matter, provide a gravitational "glue" to keep everything together, astronomers say.

What causes the "S" shaped matrix?

What is perverted is hydrogen clouds in the outer galaxy. This is a change in gravitational pull away from the inner region of the galaxy, which causes a distortion in the shape of the letter "S" of the Milky Way. "It is very difficult to determine the distance from the Sun to part of the external gas disk of the Milky Way, with no clear idea of ​​how this disk actually looks like," & nbsp; said Dr. Chen Xiaodian, a scientist from NAOC and the main author of the article. "We recently published a new catalog of well-preserved variable stars known as classic Cepheids, for which distances as accurate as 3 to 5% can be determined."

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

What is a cepheid star?

Yellow, bright, gigantic and supergiant stars. Cepheids are often called "space meters" or "standard candles"And much of what astronomers know about distances in the universe is about observing these young pulsating stars." The study examined 1,339 Cepheids, each of which was up to 100,000 brighter than the sun.

Why Cepheid stars are important?

The Cepheid impulse can be predicted, so changes in their brightness can be used to obtain highly reliable distance. The team used "classic" Cepheids that pulsate for several days or months. Cepheids were first discovered in 1912 by & nbsp; Henrietta Swan Leavitt & nbsp; at the Harvard College Observatory after examining thousands & nbsp; variable stars & nbsp; in & nbsp; Magellanic clouds, two dwarf galaxies that revolve around the Milky Way. Her work was used by Edwin Hubble to find that some nebula that could be seen from Earth was actually distant galaxies. This data was then used to calculate that the further away in the galaxy, the faster it moves away from us: Constant Hubble & # 39; a, which & nbsp; describes the expanding universe.

For astronomers in China and Australia, data on these classic Cepheid stars were provided by Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), allowing the team to develop the first accurate three-dimensional image of our Milky Way to distant regions.

The wide range of NASA infrared tests, WISE, begins in 2009. WISE scans the entire sky in infrared light, collecting the splendor of hundreds of millions of objects and producing millions of images.NASA

Why does it matter?

"To our surprise, we discovered that in 3D, our collection of 1,339 Cepheid stars and the Milky Way's gas disk follow each other, providing a new insight into the formation of our home galaxy," & nbsp;said de Grijs. "Perhaps more importantly, in the outer regions of the Milky Way, we have discovered that the S-shaped star disk is warped in a gradually twisted spiral pattern."

"This new morphology is an important updated map for studying the star movements of our galaxy and the sources of the Milky Way's disk," & nbsp;said Dr Deng Licai, senior researcher at NAOC and co-author of the article.

What causes the warp?

Over the past 50 years there have been signs that hydrogen clouds in the Milky Way are distorted. Astronomers have observed a dozen other galaxies that exhibited similar progressively twisted spiral patterns in their outer areas. "By combining our results with these other observations, we came to the conclusion that the distorted spiral system of the Milky Way is most likely caused by" torques "or rotational forced by a massive internal disk," & nbsp; said Dr. & nbsp; Liu Chao, senior researcher and co-author of the article.

I wish you a bright sky and wide eyes

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The artist's impression on the twisted and twisted disk of the Milky Way.Chen Xiaodian

How do you measure what you are in? We've all seen countless images of our Milky Way, but have you ever wondered: none of them is real. They are all impressions of artists about what astronomers consider to be the Milky Way.

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 Nature Astronomy which reveals the Milky Way, to be "warped, twisted and flared" away from the center of the Milky Way.

"Usually we consider spiral galaxies to be quite flat, such as Andromeda, which can be easily observed through a telescope," says Professor Richard de Grijs, co-author and astronomer at the University of Macquarie.

The Andromeda or M31 galaxy.Getty

How does the Milky Way work?

Looking from far away, the Milky Way galaxy would look like a thin disk of stars orbiting once every several hundred million years around its central region. It is estimated that 300 billion stars, together with a mass of dark matter, provide a gravitational "glue" to keep everything together, astronomers say.

What causes the "S" shaped matrix?

What is perverted is hydrogen clouds in the outer galaxy. This is a change in gravitational pull away from the inner region of the galaxy, which causes a distortion in the shape of the letter "S" of the Milky Way. "It is difficult to determine the distance from the Sun to part of the external gas disk of the Milky Way, without having a clear idea of ​​how this disk actually looks," said Dr. Chen Xiaodian, a scientist from NAOC and the lead author of the article. "We recently published a new catalog of well-preserved variable stars known as classic Cepheids, for which distances as accurate as 3 to 5% can be determined."

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

What is a cepheid star?

Yellow, bright, gigantic and supergiant stars. Cepheids are often called "cosmic meters" or "normalized candles", and the majority of information about distances in the universe boils down to the observation of these young pulsating stars. The study examined 1,339 cepheids, each of which was up to 100,000 brighter than the sun.

Why Cepheid stars are important?

Cepheid impulses can be predicted, so changes in their brightness can be used to obtain a highly reliable distance. The team used "classic" Cepheids that pulsate for several days or months. The Cepheids were first discovered in 1912. By Henrietta Swan Leavitt at the Harvard College Observatory after examining thousands of variable stars in the Magellanic Clouds, two dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way. Her work was used by Edwin Hubble to find that some nebula that could be seen from Earth was actually distant galaxies. This data was then used to calculate that the further away in the galaxy, the faster it moves away from us: Hubble & # 39; a, which describes the expanding Universe.

For astronomers from China and Australia, data on these classic Cepheids was provided by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), which allowed the team to develop the first accurate three-dimensional image of our Milky Way to distant regions.

The wide range of infrared tests at NASA, WISE, begins in 2009. WISE scans the entire sky in infrared light, collecting the splendor of hundreds of millions of objects and producing millions of images.NASA

Why does it matter?

"To our surprise, we discovered that in 3D, our collection of 1,339 Cepheid stars and the gas dome of the Milky Way are following, which gives us a new insight into the creation of our mother galaxy." said de Grijs. "Perhaps more importantly, in the outer regions of the Milky Way, we have found that the S-shaped star disk is warped in a gradually twisted spiral system."

"This new morphology is a significant updated map for studying the star movements of our galaxy and the sources of the Milky Way's disk." said Dr Deng Licai, senior researcher at NAOC and co-author of the article.

What causes the warp?

Over the past 50 years there have been signs that hydrogen clouds in the Milky Way are distorted. Astronomers have observed a dozen other galaxies that exhibited similar progressively twisted spiral patterns in their outer areas. "By combining our results with these other observations, we came to the conclusion that the warped spiral system of the Milky Way is most likely caused by" torques "or rotational forced by a massive internal disk," said Dr. Liu Chao, a senior researcher and co-author of the paper.

I wish you a bright sky and wide eyes

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

Texas claims that the third dark sky of the sanctuary in the US is still struggling with slight pollution

Galaxy will fall into a milky way, wake up a black hole and can send the solar system "Flying into space"

The mysterious object "Missing Link" found on the edge of the solar system by scientists using Tiny Telescopes

When is the next "Super Blood Wolf Moon"? How to see another lunar eclipse before you die


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