We consider spiral galaxies as being flat. You typically hear the disk of our galaxy described as “flat as a pancake.” The massive spiral galaxy next door – the Andromeda galaxy – appears flat via a telescope. However, nature might be intricate, and, this week (February 4, 2019), astronomers made a shocking announcement. They stated our house galaxy, the Milky Way, isn’t flat. Instead, it’s warped and twisted.
Astronomers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Macquarie University used 1,339 classical Cepheid variable stars for this research. They’re stars that brighten and dim in a way that modifications in line with the celebs’ accurate luminosities. Thus these stars have been used as traditional distance indicators. The astronomers used information on these stars from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). The work led them to create a 3D map of what they mentioned is the “actual” form of our Milky Way. A paper describing this research was published on February 4 within the peer-reviewed journal Nature Astronomy.
Astronomers don’t like to think about our Milky Way as being in any way “special.” However – from what’s recognized at present – its twisted form does give it a specialness, though not a uniqueness. Astronomers have noticed a dozen different galaxies that confirmed equally twisted spiral patterns of their outer areas.
So our Milky Way’s twists are uncommon, however not unobserved elsewhere within the universe. There have been pieces of evidence for the past 50 years that the hydrogen clouds inside the Milky Way are warped. The new map exhibits that the warped Milky Way disk additionally accommodates younger stars. It confirms that the warped spiral sample is attributable to torque from the spinning of the Milky Way’s large inner disk of stars.