A team of scientists from the Royal Astronomical Society He showed that the Milky Way is larger than its “cosmic wall”, which is not observed in other galaxies. Research details are posted at Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Milky Way surprises
Each galaxy is surrounded by a cosmic wall with empty spaces behind it. They seem to crush the galaxy into a pancake-like shape, forming a flat matrix. The Local Sheet is a nearby region of extragalactic space in which the Milky Way, members of the Local Group, and other galaxies rotate around their axes in a more orderly manner than if they existed randomly in the Universe.
a. Joe Silk of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore says:
The Milky Way has no specific mass or type. There are many spiral galaxies that look more or less like this. But it is rare to consider its surroundings. If you could easily spot the next dozen large galaxies in the sky, you would see that nearly all of them lie on a ring, included in the local paper. This is rather unique in itself. What we’ve discovered recently is that the walls of other galaxies in the universe, such as the Local Plate, rarely seem to contain a massive galaxy like the Milky Way inside them.
Galaxies tend to be smaller than their walls, but the Milky Way breaks the mold. Recent research has confirmed that it is surprisingly massive compared to its cosmic wall, which astronomers did not expect.
a. Miguel Aragon Calvo of the National Autonomous University of Mexico says:
The Milky Way is unique in some way. Earth is very special – it’s the only home to life that we know of. But it is not the center of the universe, or even the solar system, and the sun is just an ordinary star among the billions in the Milky Way. Even our galaxy appeared to be just another spiral galaxy among the billions of other galaxies in the observable universe. However, it is different. You will probably have to travel half a billion light years from the Milky Way, pass many, many galaxies to find another cosmic wall with a galaxy like ours. This is hundreds of times farther away from the nearest large galaxy around us, Andromeda.
The new findings follow a computer simulation, part of the IllustrisTNG project, that simulates a swath of the universe nearly a billion light-years across that contains millions of galaxies. Only a handful—about a million of all the galaxies in the simulation—were as “unique” as the Milky Way, that is, embedded in a cosmic wall (like the Local Plate) and massive.
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