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Thursday, February 22, 2018

In the center of the milky way astronomers have found a giant “cross”

Consisting of several thousand young stars a huge “cross”, located in the center of our Galaxy, astronomers have discovered Dustin lang from the University of Toronto and Melissa ness from the Institute of astronomy in Heidelberg MPG. The discovery, which will allow you to learn more about the history of the birth of the milky Way, was made almost by accident — it all started with a Twitter message, while still not claiming to be sensational.

A diagonal cross is visible in the center of the frame. Illustration — volkskrant.nl

The message that Dustin lang attached the starry sky, composed of frames that have been received infrared orbital telescope WISE. Although the study of lang, in which the frame was prepared, were in other galaxies, Melissa ness, stumbled on this frame, drew attention to the unusual cross-shaped structure on the phase space, where the bulge of the milky way.

Bulge bright Central component of our, and a number of other studied to date of galaxies. It is a spherical cluster of many young stars, and like “acts” above and below the galaxy, if you look at it from the perspective, with which she seems relatively “flat”. Until now, specialists have no clear opinion on how balji formed — according to one popular version, its emergence and expansion is a natural result of the evolution of the galaxy, while another theory States that it appears due to the many collisions of large galaxies from smaller ones. The study found “the cross” will probably allow to answer the question of which of these assumptions is closer to the truth, and its existence makes you lean towards the first version, experts say. In any case, its presence suggests that already a few billion years the milky way has undergone large-scale clashes in the opposite case, at least the outlines of this structure from this distorted.

WISE represents one of the few space-based observatories, which could be made of this discovery from the optical telescopes of the “cross” is hidden by clouds of dust and cold gas.

The article is devoted to the discovery, presented in the pages of scientific publications of the Astronomical Journal.

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