Stellar ripples like filaments encircling the Milky Way above and below the plane of the galaxy, can actually be a part of it. If so, then the size of the Milky Way may be greater at 50% previously known to us. In addition, there are intriguing questions that it was the cause of this "wave" of stars, сообщает
The researchers used data collected in the course of re-analysis of the brightness of distant stars and galaxies at the edge, held Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)
- large-scale research project images and spectra of stars and galaxies using the 2, 5-meter wide telescope at Apache Point Observatory, New Mexico. They found that the edge of the disk of the galaxy though wrinkled and consists of a series of "ridges" in the likeness of corrugated cardboard.
"It seems to me that these" patterns "like the spiral structure of the Milky Way, and they can be connected", - says astronomer Heidi Newberg of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, USA.
She and her colleagues suspect that perhaps through the disk of the Milky Way passed dwarf galaxy, initiating the formation of ripples, like a pebble thrown into the water begins to spread ripples.
Evidence that the so-called «Кольцо Unicorn »
, located at a distance of more than 65 000 light-years from the center of the Milky Way (the disk of the galaxy according to the latest estimates has dimensions 100h3h1 thousand. Light-years), is actually a part of it, came as a surprise to Heidi Newberg, who was a member team, opened it in 2002.
"We thought that it was a" debris "bring-dwarf galaxy, which formed a large ring (the Unicorn). For 15 years, this issue has been a stumbling block among astronomers: the first half felt that it was just a "tidal wave" that came with the dwarf, and the second, that the ring - it's some of the disk of the galaxy, "- says Newberg.
Galaxies are in constant motion and otherwise interact with each other during the approach, absorbed in each other, collide. Human life is too short to observe these processes from beginning to end with an example, we can only observe individual steps of these processes in the universe. That's why scientists and raised the question of whether the Ring Unicorn part of our galaxy, or is a foreign object.
So why do astronomers believe that the original diameter of the Milky Way 100 000 light-years - an incorrect number? The problem lies in the fact that we are seeing the Milky Way disk inside it, not from the outside.
Presentation of the Milky Way from the ground, inside the disk i>
Image of the Milky Way from / NASA i>
Previously it was thought that the structure of our galaxy is more or less homogeneous which was followed by the calculation of its size. However, new evidence suggests that our galaxy because of its wave-like disc has in its structure "gaps", ie between the rows of stars formed by the gravitational influence of conjectural when passing through the Milky Way dwarf, there are spaces of emptiness, previously hidden from the eyes of mankind. Up to this point, researchers could not account for the presence of such "gaps" in the structure of our galaxy, from which were made incorrect calculations.
Work on this issue continues. Astronomers are eager to take pictures of the Milky Way in a higher resolution, as well as three-dimensional image Rings Unicorn. The scientific work of the team has already been published in the Astrophysical Journal, become familiar with it, you can link .