CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – It turns out that our Milky Way galaxy is really skewed, at least around the edges.
Researchers in China and Australia released an updated 3D map of the Milky Way on Tuesday. They used 1,339 pulsating stars – young, newly cataloged stars bigger and brighter than our sun – to map the shape of the galaxy.
The farther from the center, the more twisting or turning there is in the Milky Way outer hydrogen gas plate. Scientists say that the distorted spiral pattern is probably caused by the powerful inner disk of stars.
"We usually think of spiral galaxies as quite flat, like Andromeda, which you can easily see through a telescope" Macquarie University's Richard de Grijs, who participated in the study, said in a statement from Sydney.
Leader researcher Xiaodian Chen from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing said it is difficult to determine the distance from the sun to the Milky Way fringe, "Without having a clear idea of what that record actually looks like." The stars where his team map is based ̵
At least a dozen other galaxies seem to have curved edges in a similar spiral pattern, so in that respect we are hardly unique.
The study is shown in the journal Nature Astronomy.
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