Scientists have described a group of young stars and gaseous regions as “a sliver protruding from a slab of wood”.
Astronomers broadly classify galaxies into three main categories: elliptical, spiral and irregular, with more than two-thirds of the galaxies they observe listed in this second figure, Including the Milky Way. But while scientists have a rough idea of the size and shape of the spiral arms of the Milky Way, they say mapping the entire structure of our galaxy is a challenge because the Earth is inside.
“It’s like being in the middle of Times Square [em Nova York] and trying to map the island of Manhattan, explain Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California, USA.
Scientists at NASA’s laboratory have discovered a strange “break” in the spiral arms of the Milky Way that could tell us more about the galaxy’s history. The outage, which consists of a group of young stars and gaseous regions, was described by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as “a sliver coming out of a wooden plank.”
Researchers tracked the feature using infrared eyes or heat seekers from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Gaia mission, which measures Distances and stellar motions.
The new study focused on a region near one of the arms of the Milky Way, called the Sagittarius arm, home to the famous Pillars of Creation, which are part of the Eagle Nebula. Data collected from Spitzer and Gaia showed that Sagittarius is full of young stars that move through space at roughly the same speed and direction.
It’s not easy to map the Milky Way when we’re inside it. Thanks to data from the Spitzer Space Telescope & @This is amazingOn the Gaia mission, astronomers discovered a “break” in one of its spiral arms providing insight into the large-scale structure of our galaxy. https://t.co/166ilMaWSu pic.twitter.com/jNRLBV8CrR
– NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) August 17, 2021
It’s not easy to map the Milky Way when we’re inside it. Thanks to data from our retired Spitzer Space Telescope and ESA on the Gaia mission, astronomers have detected a “fracture” in one of its spiral arms providing insight into the large-scale structure of our galaxy.
Michael Kuhn, lead author of the new article, explained that previous models of the Milky Way suggested this curvature, as measured by the angle of inclination compared to the circle. Zero perfection, it was previously suggested that the arc has an angle of inclination of approximately 12 degrees. The new observations show that the angle of inclination of the arc is approximately 60 degrees. However, it is still not clear why.
Astronomers are still trying to figure out how and why galactic arms form, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has now said the new study may provide some clues.
“This structure is a small part of the Milky Way, but it can tell us something important about the galaxy as a whole,” said study co-author Robert Benjamin.
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