Our Milky Way galaxy is truly warped, at least around edges

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — It turns out our Milky Way galaxy is truly warped, at least around the far edges.

Scientists in China and Australia released an updated 3D map of the Milky Way on Tuesday. They used 1,339 pulsating stars — young, newly catalogued stars bigger and brighter than our sun — to map the galaxy's shape.

The farther from the center, the more warping, or twisting, there is in the Milky Way's outer hydrogen gas disc. Researchers say the warped, spiral pattern is likely caused by the spinning force of the massive inner disc of stars.

"We usually think of spiral galaxies as being quite flat, like Andromeda, which you can easily see through a telescope," Macquarie University's Richard de Grijs, who took part in the study, said in a statement from Sydney.

Lead researcher Xiaodian Chen of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing said it's difficult to determine distances from the sun to the Milky Way's fringes, "without having a clear idea of what that disc actually looks like." The stars on which his team's map is based — known as classical Cepheids — provided substantial measuring accuracy.

At least a dozen other galaxies appear to have warped edges in a similar spiral pattern, so in that respect, we're hardly unique.

The study appears in the journal Nature Astronomy.

___

The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

You may also like these

Huawei wins China patent lawsuit against rival...

Jan 11, 2018

A Chinese court says tech giant Huawei has won a patent infringement lawsuit against South Korea...

China's Weibo site backtracks on gay censorship...

Apr 17, 2018

One of China's top social networking sites has announced that it will no longer be "cleaning up"...

China urges US to avoid damaging business...

Apr 26, 2018

China urges Washington to avoid damaging business confidence following report U.S. investigating...

China tech giant sidelined, US imports held amid...

May 10, 2018

China tech giant sidelined, US imports held amid trade spat

China eases investment curbs as clash with US...

Jun 29, 2018

China is easing limits on foreign ownership in auto manufacturing, insurance and other fields but...

About Us

Science Tech Today is all about the present with what’s new in the Science and Technology world. “Keep up with today, and don’t be left behind.”

Contact us: sales[at]sciencetechtoday.com

Subscribe Now!