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Astronomers discover the Milky Way has a 'broken arm'

Astronomers discover the Milky Way has a ‘broken arm’

Paradoxical as it may sound in some ways, it’s easier to observe galaxies other than our own, out there Milky Way. Being inside it, in fact, it’s hard to get a panoramic picture describing its overall shape, while we can get great pictures like 2.2 gigapixels captured recently by astrophotographer Bartosz Wojczynski.

For this reason, it is still possible, by studying it, to come across amazing new things, such as those recorded using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope Before retiring in January 2020, and surpassing results with the latest Data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission.

The result of this study, conducted by the international research group Caltech and published in Astronomy and astrophysics (Find full article link in SOURCE) is a file The discovery of a “broken arm” between the arms of our spiral galaxy.

Specifically, Sagittario’s arm appears to be “cut” by a dense sliver of stars outlining a shape similar to a banter fracture. Michael Kuhn, an astrophysicist at Caltech and lead author of the paper, commented on the curious observation:

“Most models of the Milky Way indicate that the arc arm forms a spiral with an inclination angle of about 12 degrees, but the structure we examined actually protrudes at about a 60 degree angle.”

On the other hand, formations of this type have been found in other spiral galaxies: for decades, scientists have wondered whether the Milky Way also has these properties, and today we clearly have a first answer, which is yes.

Among the known regions included are the Aquila Nebulae (containing the “Pillars of Creation”), Omega, Triveda, and Laguna: beginning with the measurement of some stars within these regions in the 1950s, astronomers have inferred specifically the presence of the Sagittario arm, thus making an important contribution to the determination of form consciousness. Spiral of the Milky Way.

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Robert Benjamin, a University of Wisconsin Whitewater astrophysicist and co-author of the study said:

“Ultimately, this reminds us that there is a lot of uncertainty about the large-scale structure of the Milky Way, and we need to look at the details if we want to get an idea of ​​the bigger picture. This structure is a small piece of the Milky Way, but it can It tells us… something important about the galaxy as a whole.”