The Milky Way is not a stable disk of stars, new research has discovered, but in fact is twisted and twisted further away from the center you see.
Researchers from the National Academy of Sciences' National Astronomical Observatories (NAOC) have discovered the unusual form and published their findings in the journal Nature Astronomy.
At a distance, the milk path really looks like a thin disk of stars surrounding a mysterious center every few hundred million years.  In the middle of our galaxy is a supermassive black hole, but also hundreds of billions of stars and a huge mass of dark matter, keeping everything together with gravity.
But further away from this inner core, hydrogen atoms that fill most of the gas disk are no longer tightly bound to the thin plane and buckle above and below it.
This S-like oblique appearance is apparent to scientists trying to accurately form the Milky Way.
"It is notoriously difficult to determine the distance from the sun to parts of the Milky Way's outer gas plate without having a clear idea of what that record actually looks like," says Dr. Chen Xiaodian.
Dr Chen, a researcher at NAOC and the lead author of the study, explained that a discovery of new stars helped astronomers create a more accurate image of the galaxy. % can be determined, says Dr. Chen.
This new database has enabled the team to create the first precise three-dimensional image of the Milky Way all the way to its most remote regions.
classic Cepheids Dr. Chen described are young stars that can be up to 20 times as massive as the sun, 100,000 times as bright.
These huge star masses live very literally quickly and die young and burn quickly through the nuclear fuel – sometimes in jus a few billion years.
One of the most important signals that they emit are pulsations of brightness that last between one day and one month, and this light burst can be used to measure the distance.
"Something to our surprise, we found that in 3D, our collection of 1,339 Cepheid stars and the Wall's gas plate are closely following. This gives a new insight into the formation of our home galaxy," added Professor Richard de Grijs.
Prof de Grijs, Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and senior co-author of the magazine added: "Perhaps more importantly, in the Milky Way's outer regions, we found that the S-like star disk is interspersed in a progressively twisted spiral pattern."
" Combine our results with the other observations, we concluded that the Milky Way's slanted spiral pattern is most likely caused by "torque" – or rotational force – of the massive inner disk, "said Dr. Liu Chao, senior researcher and other co-author of the paper.
"This new morphology provides an important updated map for studying our galaxy star performances and the wilderness record," explained Dr. Deng Licai, senior researcher at NAOC, and again a co-author of the magazine.