June 8, 2023

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Large "fossil" structures have been revealed to be lurking at the edges of our galaxy

Large “fossil” structures have been revealed to be lurking at the edges of our galaxy

In view of the Earth in one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way, it is very difficult to reconstruct the structure of our galaxy.

This is because it is very difficult to measure its distance when you do not know the inherent brightness of something in space. There are many things we do not know about the Milky Way. This means that at times, we may completely lose the massive structures we thought should be under our noses.

A new set of these massive structures has now been revealed in the outer parts of the Milky Way disk: massive fibers surrounding an obscure source. Astronomers will continue to study to solve the mystery.

The discovery is thanks to the European Space Agency’s Kia Space Laboratory, which plans to map the Milky Way in three dimensions with the highest resolution to date.

Gaya orbits the sun with the earth Ring orbit The Lagrange point L2 between the Sun and the Earth is the constant pocket of gravitational force exerted by the interactions between the two bodies.

From there, it carefully examines the stars in the Milky Way for a long time to see how the positions of the stars change against those of distant stars. It saves Display, Which is used to calculate the distance to stars.

Although this can be done from Earth, atmospheric influences can interfere with measurements. From its position in space, the Kia has an advantage that it uses to great advantage. Since its release in 2013, space telescope data has revealed many star structures and interactions that we are unaware of.

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A team led by astronomer Cervin Laport from the University of Barcelona in Spain has identified new structures in the latest edition data. In December last year, With Improved parallax accuracy. The same data showed previously known structures with greater clarity than we have seen before.

“We report the discovery of many new, previously undetected fibers embedded in the outer disk in highly degraded areas.” The researchers wrote in their paper.

“Some of these structures are described as exciting outer disk material, ejected from satellite impacts and are currently in phase composite (‘feathers’).

These rotating filaments at the edges of the galaxy are not unexpected. According to simulations, interactions between the Milky Way and its satellite galaxies could form such structures. The Milky Way currently has (probably) a cluster of satellites in orbit.

But there is a catch: the number of leads detected by Laborde and colleagues is much higher than that found in such simulations, which means we need another explanation.

One possibility is that the leads are remnants of vortex waves triggered at different times by interactions with satellites; In other words, galaxy fossils.

Another possibility is that they represent the apex of the Milky Way’s debris caused by collisions with other galaxies. The Milky Way has a history of collisions with other galaxies, which can cause disruptions in the galaxy, so this is not an unreasonable assumption.

Researchers believe that such collisions could send ripples into the galaxy, such as ripples in a pool.

The next step is to make follow-up observations and try and determine which of these scenarios is most possible.

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“Usually this part of the Milky Way is poorly explored due to the interference of dust that strongly obscures most of the galaxy’s center.” Laford said.

“Although the star’s luminosity is affected by dust, its motion is unaffected. The challenge now is to decide what to say. “

Search published in Monthly Announcements of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters.