our-idea-of-​​the-milky-way-has-always-been-wrong-–-rb

Our idea of ​​the Milky Way has always been wrong – RB

Our idea of ​​the Milky Way has always been wrong – RB

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The idea that we made of the Milky Way has always been wrong – RB

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Our idea of ​​the Milky Way has always been wrong – RB

SCIENCE

The galaxy par excellence is not what we have always imagined: the discovery was made possible by the Hubble telescope

We followed certain routes diagonally inside the Milky Way : many have imagined the galaxy to which ours belongs solar system, including Franco Battiato with this romantic musical quote, but perhaps we always got the wrong idea. Space is a continuous discovery and also the classic conception of the Milky Way must be revised, a sign that in this matter there is never an absolute certainty. The “fault” (or merit) is of the Hubble telescope which has again deepened the images of the galaxy in question, discovering how at least a portion of the external arm is more bulky and squat than previously believed.

The new measurements would leave no room for doubt: the Milky Way is made up of irregular arms in the outermost part, but not as it was predicted in the distant 1971 by a research team tasked with studying the interesting topic. It seems that what is defined as the “galaxy par excellence” is similar to Messier 83 , complete with short and chopped “arms”. The adjectives were used by John Peek , an astronomer working in Baltimore who had the opportunity to examine close up measurements. The scientist and his colleagues mostly focused on Perseus’ spiral arm. The new study basically started from a question.

Further distances

What if a gas cloud could have random movements? The data provided by Hubble showed a greater complexity of the aforementioned arm of Perseus compared to the classical view which we’ve always had the Milky Way. Looking more closely at a cloud of stellar dust, the latter was at a greater distance, not 6 thousand light years but almost double ( 10 thousand to be precise). Researchers don’t want to stop at these findings. The goal is now to delve into the innermost galaxy, to get a clearer idea of ​​how it formed. To reach such an ambitious goal, 3D maps of the dust will be exploited, as well as infrared.

Comparison telescopes

Hubble has done his duty as always, now it will be up to his illustrious “colleague”, the telescope Nancy Grace Roman . Thanks to his observations, it will be possible to map the entire galaxy in a few hundred hours, with infrared light that could even allow you to view the Milky Way from above for the first time. Another valuable contribution will be that of the American Observatory Vera Rubin who manages to examine even very weak observations and far away, without forgetting the various wavelengths. The galaxy we are talking about has been the focus of attention in recent days for another reason.

In fact, a hydrogen filament almost 4 thousand light years long has been discovered and observed. It is located at 55 thousand light years away and is one of the largest structures ever detected, with astronomers scrambling to find the most appropriate nickname. “Maggie”, this is the nickname of the filament, was observed thanks to a survey conducted in New Mexico and which exploited the centimeter wave radio antennas of the Very Large Array , grouping of radio telescopes that came into operation in the distant 1980.

Simone Ricci