February 25, 2024

a surprise! The reality of the Milky Way may contradict our assumptions

For decades, scientists have tried to unravel the spiral architecture of milky wayHowever, so far there have been conflicting results. While some maps have suggested the existence of four spiral arms in our galaxy, the new study offers an alternative perspective.

ongoing discussion between Astronomy scientists On the structure of the Milky Way he got another interesting chapter. According to a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal, researchers propose that our galaxy has only two main arms, challenging the well-established theory that there are four distinct arms.

Study the stars to understand the galaxy

In the 1950s, William W. Morgan and his colleagues studied the spiral arms of the Milky Way, plotting them on the basis of stellar distances. These measurements remain central to our understanding of the galaxy.

At first, they identified three spiral arms, but realized that measurements of hydrogen clouds were unreliable. Currently, scientists recognize four main arms: Sagittarius, Orion, Perseus and Norma Cygnus, arranged in order of proximity to the galactic center.

Photo: Reproduction/NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESO/R. Huh

However, there are different theories, suggesting the possibility of only two major arms or even two previously unknown arms.

Contrary to previous opinions, scientists have determined that the Carina arm is separate from Sagittarius, or at least not connected due to the evolution of the galaxy.

In addition, many other spiral arms are found in the outer region of our galaxy, including the Outer, Perseus, Local, Carina, and Sagittarius arms. This information challenges the traditional view of only four spiral arms.

What does this discovery mean?

Scientists have discovered that our galaxy has many spiral arms that fork or break apart. This was revealed by observing giant stars and regions containing many hydrogen clouds.

However, it is still not clear if the outer arm is connected to the inner arms or if the carina is attached to the arch.

More research is needed to confirm or refute these conclusions, but the possibility that our galaxy might be a little different than we imagined is exciting.