In the Milky Way: Researchers reveal mysterious substructures

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta January 6, 2022
Updated 2022/01/06 at 7:12 PM

There are likely to be innumerable phenomena and anomalies in space that have yet to be explored. Researchers have now discovered something surprising using the ESA Gaia probe. They found fossil structures in the Milky Waythat you have not yet been able to explain.

Milky Way: nested substructures discovered

An international team led by the astronomer Chervin Laporte from the Institute for Cosmos Sciences at the University of Barcelona (ICCUB-IEEC) evaluated the data from the Gaia mission. Their goal was to create a new map of the outer regions of the Milky Way. The researchers came across numerous rotating thread structures on the edge of the outer disk of our galaxy. They recorded their find in an article that they published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society at the end of 2021.

The team explains that simulations predict the formation of such nested structures in the outer pane. They were once caused by the interaction with satellites of the Milky Way. But the amount of substructures that this map shows from the measurements available since December 2020 was not the result of any of the previous simulations.

Explorer recap

Normally this region of the Milky Way is due to the intervening dust that obscures most of the galactic mid-plane. That is why it has only been little researched, explains Laporte. While dust affects the luminosity of a star, its movement remains unaffected.

“We were very pleased to see that the Gaia movement data helped us to discover these filament-like structures! Now the challenge remains to find out exactly what these things are, how they came about, why they exist in such large numbers and what they can tell us about the Milky Way, its formation and development. “

Chervin Laporte (via Royal Astronomical Society)

Sources: “Kinematics beats dust: unveiling nested substructure in the perturbed outer disc of the Milky Way” (2021, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society); Royal Astronomical Society

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