July 6, 2022


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Discover a "feather" connecting the spiral arms of the Milky Way |  urania

Discover a “feather” connecting the spiral arms of the Milky Way | urania

It is very difficult to explore the structure of our Milky Way from the inside. However, this difficulty has recently been overcome by observing its structure with telescopes still in poorly studied spectral ranges. The latest discovery is an undulating filament of cold, dense gas stretching near the galactic center for at least 6000 light-years away. It is probably the first known “feather” in the Milky Way – a structure that has already been observed in other spiral galaxies. They are similar to the flags protruding from the feather, that is, the stem of the pen.

Astronomers hypothesize that this remarkable structure may have been a “sub-branch” of the coal arm (Latin norma) or a “feather” connecting the coal arm and three kiloparsec (3kpc).

From our place in the universe, other spiral galaxies can be seen more clearly than our own. For spiral galaxies, astronomers have systematically compiled the structures that protrude from the spiral arms, such as branches, fragments, and feathers depending on their angles or shape. From the authors analysis From the relevant post It appears that the Milky Way most likely contains feathers (at least one).

However, instead of having a shape resembling a bird’s feather, the external body has a structure similar to a sine wave – which inspired the authors of the publication to call it the Gangotri wave to commemorate the glacier from which India’s longest river, the Ganges, flows. . In Hindi and other Indian languages, the Milky Way is called Akasha Ganga – which means “the Ganges in the sky”. Astronomers are not sure what caused this ripple in Gangotri.

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The Gangotri River is approximately 6,000 to 13,000 light-years long and is located approximately 17,000 light-years from the center of the Milky Way. Its total mass is estimated to be at least 9 million times the mass of the Sun.

Publication lead author Veena VS (University of Cologne, Germany) and colleagues detected the Gangotri wave while searching for cold gas clouds with carbon monoxide (CO) in the observational data. teleskopu APEX Based in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. However, carbon dioxide molecules are only a fraction of the mass of Gangotri (even “part-part” because the observational review considered only CO2 molecules with the carbon isotope 13°C), but this gas acts as a marker for more atoms and molecules. Abundances that are difficult to detect, such as hydrogen and helium.

Gangotri requires more observations to confirm his actual position. This structure extends beyond the coal arm and may reach the three parsec (3kpc) arm, creating a bridge connecting the two arms. Such connections between spiral arms have been observed in spiral galaxies, especially barred spiral galaxies similar to our own.

The above reconstruction of the spiral arms of the Milky Way is now obsolete after the discovery of filaments either emerging from the coal arm (Latin: norma) or connecting the coal arm to 3kpc. source: Wikipedia – Robert Hurt, NASA/JPL-Caltech

Prepared by: Ryszard Pernikovic

more information:

Scientific Publication (Open Access): Kilobarsec-scale particle wave in the inner galaxy: the feather of the Milky Way?

A ‘Gangotri wave’ has been discovered connecting two spiral arms of the Milky Way

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Source: phys.org

Pictured: the likely location of the Gangotri wave in the Milky Way. Gangotri is either an offshoot of the Węgielnica arm (Latin norma) or a feather connecting the Węgielnica arm and the three kiloparsec (“3kpc”) arm. Source: Veena VS with colleagues DOI: 10.3847 / 2041-8213 / ac341f