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Sunday, March 18, 2018

The mass of the milky way measured with unprecedented precision

The most accurate to date estimate of the total mass of the milky way presented by a group of scientists from Canada. According to specialists, our galaxy is 700 billion times heavier than the Sun, the mass of which in turn, about 330 thousand times the mass of Earth. Moreover, 88 percent of the mass of galaxies is invisible and mysterious dark matter, the researchers note.

photo: ru.wikipedia.org

Scientists emphasize that to measure the mass of the milky way even more difficult than it might seem at first glance. One of the problems is that for a more or less accurate estimate, you must know the speed of movement of all “weigh” objects, including deleted ones, and take into account that the Earth itself moves in the galaxy along a complex path. Secondly, the very location of Earth and the Solar system allows you to see through a telescope is only part of the galaxy. However, the researchers claim that they managed to get a very accurate figure, taking into account many of the results achieved by scholars previously asked question about the mass of the milky way.

Earlier it was supposed that the milky way is the mass of the Sun is approximately one trillion times, and it was believed that dark matter makes up about 90 percent of this mass. However, astrophysicists developed an algorithm called galactic mass estimator “the estimator of the mass of the galaxy,” as experts believe, can fill the gaps in people’s knowledge about the surrounding space bodies with less error than any other technology used so far.

Experts hope that their calculations will be more accurate and sophisticated models of our galaxy and will help to better understand dark matter and dark energy, of which direct observation is impossible. All this, in turn, will allow to obtain more accurate information about other galaxies in the Universe, and consequently, to obtain new knowledge about its history and current condition.

The results, experts reported at the annual meeting of the Canadian astronomical society in Winnipeg, they also proposed their research for publication in the pages of the scientific publication Astrophysical Journal.

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