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Home > News > The most detailed three-dimensional map of the Milky Way confirms that it is not flat, but a twisted and distorted galaxy

The most detailed three-dimensional map of the Milky Way confirms that it is not flat, but a twisted and distorted galaxy

2019-08-27

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By tracking thousands of large pulsating stars throughout the Milky Way, astronomers have created the most accurate map of the Milky Way to date, proving that the disks of its myriad stars are not flat, but warped and distorted.


Researchers released a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way on Thursday - home to more than 100 billion stars, including the Sun - and provided a comprehensive structural chart: a stellar disk consisting of four main spiral arms and a strip core.


Andrzej Udalski, an astronomer at the University of Warsaw, is the co-author of a research report published in the journal Science. He said that this is the first time in our entire galaxy - from the edge of the disk to the edge - using real, precise distance mapping.


So far, the understanding of the shape of the Milky Way is based on indirect measurements of celestial signs within the Milky Way and inferences about structures observed in other galaxies in the universe.

The new map was developed by accurately measuring the distance of the sun to 2,400 stars, known as the [Cifu Variable Star" scattered throughout the Milky Way.


Dorota Skowron, an astronomer and research co-author at the University of Washington, added, "The Cepheid variable star is an ideal choice for studying the Milky Way."


'The Cepheid variable stars are bright superstars whose brightness is 100 to 10,000 times that of the Sun, so we can detect them in the suburbs of the Milky Way. They are relatively young - over 400 million years old - so we can find them near their birthplace.


Astronomers tracked Cepheid variable stars using the Warsaw Telescope in the Chilean Andes.


The map shows that the discs of the Milky Way are far from flat, obviously warped, and vary in thickness depending on the ground, as the thickness of the center of the Milky Way increases.


The disc has a diameter of approximately 14,000 light years. About 6 trillion miles (9 trillion kilometers) per light year.


After the outbreak of the big bang, the Milky Way began to form, marking the beginning of the universe about 13.8 billion years ago.


The sun is about 26,000 light-years away from the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way, formed about 4.5 billion years ago.



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2019.08.27

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