Milky Way New Mapping, Extradordinary

Polish Astronomers Provide Large and Precise 3D Scaled Map 

Source:  University of Warsaw


Surprise Finding "Warped and Twisted", Not Flat
Astronomers from the University of Warsaw in Poland have created the most precise and largest  map of the Milky Way to date.  By tracking thousands of stars pulsating in the galaxy, they've created a 3D scale map of the system.  They discovered that it isn't as flat as a pancake but twists and turns in shape much more than previously thought by astronomers.

Spiral Galaxy
The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy measuring 120,000 light years across.  It's a mass of stars, gas and dust about 27,000 light years from the Earth.  The team found the distortions in the Milky Way are immense with some stars 60,000 light years away from the Milky Way's center. And, the galaxy's thickness is quite variable.

Potential Causes
The astronomers cited several potential causes for the "warped and twisted" variations including interactions with nearby galaxies, intergalactic gas and even dark matter.  Their groundbreaking work was just published in the journal Science.

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