The existence of the «bone» in the Milky Way

In a spiral galaxy the Milky Way around the core twisted two giant spiral arms surrounding the entire galactic disk. But precisely evaluate the structure of our galaxy from Earth hard: the bigger the better seen from a distance.

Therefore, while the other spiral galaxies have long found mezhrukavnye formation of small thickness, called "bones" in the Milky Way that object until recently was only "on suspicion".


Contrary to initial assumptions (white dotted line), after a series of clarifying observations "Nessie" was much longer and heavier (yellow dotted line) than rough estimates. (Image NASA, JPL, SSC.)

Opening did a group of scientists led by Elissa Goodman (Alyssa Goodman) of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (USA). Astronomers observed the formation, bearing the informal name of "Nessie," which opened in 2010, and, presumably, is just such a galactic "bone" the Milky Way. As it was established, "Nessie" from two to eight times longer than previously thought. In addition, the radio emission from the object makes its existence in a "bone" (and not some other entity) certain.

With a length of 300 light-years, this education is just 1.2 light years in diameter — in other words, it is a highly elongated and therefore difficult to observe an object that contains an array, approximately the mass of 100,000 stars.

It is believed by astronomers "Nessie" could be part of a larger network of "bones", connecting the Milky Way's spiral arms.

Ms. Goodman presented the results of her research group January 8, 2013 at the American Astronomical Society, held in Long Beach (California, USA).

Prepared according to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Category: Astronomy and Space

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