3D mapping reveals Milky Way galaxy has peanut-shaped core
Washington: Scientists have produced a detailed three-dimensional map of the stars that form the inner regions of our Milky Way galaxy.
They found a box/peanut shaped bulge with an elongated bar and a prominent X-structure, which had been hinted at in previous studies.
This indicates that the Milky Way was originally a pure disk of stars, which then formed a thin bar, before buckling into the box/peanut shape seen today.
By using a large number of so-called "red clump" giant stars from the new VVV survey scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics produced the 3-dimensional map of the galactic bulge.
The scientists used the VVV near-infrared survey of the bulge conducted with the VISTA telescope in Chile, which covers the inner regions of the Milky Way and is able to observe stars thirty times fainter than previous bulge surveys.
The observations were carried out by the VVV team, who then made their images and star catalogues available to the international community as science data products in the European Southern Observatory science archive facility.
Red clump giant stars were chosen for this study as they can be used as a standard candle: at this stage in the star`s lifetime their luminosity is approximately independent of their age or composition.
The amount of gas and dust obscuring the stars is calculated directly from the observed colours of the red clump stars, so that their brightness distribution without obscuration can be measured.
Because red clump stars have nearly the same intrinsic brightness, this gives approximate distances to each star.
The good spatial coverage of the VVV survey allowed measurements across the whole inner region of the Milky Way, and from these the three-dimensional measurement of the structure of the bulge was constructed.
Photo: European Southern Observatory
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Dadri lynching: Is Kejriwal spreading poison between Hindus and Muslims?
- Muslims asked to sprinkle cow urine on body in order to be part of Garba festivities
- Dadri lynching: Rahul Gandhi reaches Dadri, meets victim Iqlakh's family
- Dadri lynching: Prime accused's father refutes allegations; says son is innocent
- Indrani attempted suicide or big security lapse by jail authorities?
- Sonia begins Bihar polls campaining; accuses PM Modi of 'narrow-mindedness'
- Indrani Mukerjea's FSL report rules out drug overdose, says no chemicals found in stomach wash
- Lynching case in Dadri: Rahul meets victim Iqlakh's family, says touched by people's desire to maintain harmony
- Indrani Mukerjea regains consciousness, out of danger, says hospital
- Russia bombs ISIS headquarters in Syria, video goes viral on internet - Watch