In fact, the Milky Way is curved: astronomers have found out why (photo)

The cause of the deformation of the galactic disk is the most mysterious substance in the Universe.

So far, it has been very difficult for astronomers to accurately determine the shape of our galaxy, and that’s because we’re inside it. However, modern space telescopes such as the Gaia telescope study our galaxy to help scientists create an accurate map of the Milky Way. Although astronomers had already assumed that our galaxy was curved, they did not understand why this was happening. One leading theory suggested that it was caused by a collision with a dwarf galaxy in the distant past. But the authors of a new study published in the journal Nature Astronomy claim that the curvature of the galactic disk is caused by dark matter, according to ScienceAlert.

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Scientists first discovered that the Milky Way is not a completely flat disk using the Gaia space telescope, which became operational 10 years ago. Observations have shown that the outer edge of the galactic disk is curved. Astronomers have suggested that this occurred about 6 billion years ago when the Milky Way collided with a dwarf galaxy. Scientists now believe that the most mysterious and invisible substance, namely dark matter, is behind these.


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It is now known that most galaxies, including our own, have a dark matter halo around them. In fact, most of the mass of galaxies is concentrated in this halo. Therefore, dark matter can affect the shape and structure of the galaxy. If the dark matter halo is highly inclined relative to the plane of the galaxy, then the gravity of dark matter can warp the galactic disk.

The authors of the new study believe this is the only explanation for why the Milky Way is curved and has the shape it does. Scientists have found that the stellar halo around our galaxy, within which the galactic disk rotates, is also curved. This means that the dark matter halo has a large tilt relative to the plane of the Milky Way.

The study authors created a model galaxy in which the dark matter halo is tilted 25 degrees relative to the galactic disk. The motions of the stars and the evolution of our galaxy over the last 5 billion years were then included in the model observations. The model showed that a warped dark matter halo affects the shape of the galaxy and warps its galactic disk. The final result showed remarkable similarities between the simulation and what astronomers see in the Milky Way. So the deformation is still due to the bending of the dark matter halo.

At the same time, scientists concluded that a collision with a dwarf galaxy in the distant past also had an impact on the curvature of the galactic disk. However, the deformation of our galaxy resulting from this event ended long ago, and the influence of dark matter continues today.

Scientists believe that the dark matter halo was tilted 50 degrees billions of years ago, and that the tilt subsequently decreased significantly over time to about 25 degrees. The study’s authors believe that up to 50% of spiral galaxies in the Universe are curved to some degree.

As I already wrote FocusSomething is preventing our Universe from growing, and scientists believe it is an unknown force of nature. Scientists believe that making changes to the current cosmological model could solve the problem of the expansion of the Universe.

Moreover Focus He wrote about what antimatter is and how it can be used to travel very long distances in space in a short time.

Source: Focus


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