What is this mysterious filamentous structure discovered at the edge of the Milky Way?

Scientists using the Fast Radio Telescope have discovered a new structure at the edge of the Milky Way. Several hypotheses have emerged to explain this discovery, which could be a simple gas filament or a new arm of our galaxy.

Will the Milky Way be different from the representations we know about it? A team of researchers from Nanjing University in China discovered thanks to the powerful radioscope Spherical aperture of 500 meters (Fast for A spherical hole is five hundred meters long radio telescope), which is a filamentous structure extending to a region far from the center of galaxy, at 71.754 light years. study, Posted in Prepress August 5, on this discovery, leading to two hypotheses that can explain the existence of this mystery clouds : huge strands of Gas In a neighborhood very close to the Milky Way or a galactic spiral arm that has remained undiscovered to this day.

massive puzzle

The origin of this thread called catel (or “Quenouille” in French), so it still has to be specified. but the Astronomy scientists They developed two hypotheses that could explain the existence of this gas cloud, which was discovered by chance while scientists noticed Cygnus X Radio Source., In the constellation swan; First, the Cattail can be a large molecular filament composed of gases such as hydrogen, about 5 kiloparsecs long. It will then form one of the most imposing molecular clouds that can be seen nearby Milky Way. On a comparative scale, 5 kpc is equivalent to 16307.8 light-years. A light year is equal to 9.460 billion km, and we have solar system It covers only 20 billion km.

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Chinese astronomers looked at the speed of the thread, and their study highlighted how fast it moves, at a Speed It oscillates between 160 and 140 kilometers per second. The structure is located behind an arm extending from The center of the Milky WayIt is called Écu-Croix. Its proximity and speed made researchers hesitate for a long time: Has the dwarf galaxy remained invisible? By making additional observations, the second most likely theory will be that of a new arm of our galaxy, which, due to lack of energy, could not have been detected by radio telescopes and other instruments. If this hypothesis is confirmed, it means that this new “branch” of the Milky Way will be located in the outer region of the galaxy called in English Extreme outer galaxy. This possibility turned out to be interesting to scientists, the sectors farthest from the centers of galaxies are real nurseries of young people. stars.

fast support

The use of a fast radio telescope was essential in this discovery. The device, which was installed in China’s Guizhou Province, was announced to be operational in 2020, despite initial observations It dates back to 2016. It forms a dome with a diameter of 500 meters such as from feu AreciboFast, 4,500 metal plates that pick up different signals wavelengthsRanging from 70MHz to 3GHz. Thanks to its accuracy, the radio telescope in particular has become a staple in the search for pulsars: in May 2021, it discovered 201.

FAST’s accuracy could explain such a late discovery of the Milky Way’s arm, as other ancient radio telescopes could not detect an element diffuse or concealed by someone else. However, there is no doubt about it astrophysicists From Nanjing University they must turn their eyes and like FAST to Cattell in order to solve the mystery of this strange gaseous structure.

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Stan Shaw

<p class="sign">"Professional food nerd. Internet scholar. Typical bacon buff. Passionate creator."</p>

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