‘Gangotri waves’ have been found connecting the two spiral arms of the Milky Way

<div data-thumb="https://scx1.b-cdn.net/csz/news/tmb/2021/gangotri-wave-connecti.jpg" data-src="https://scx2.b-cdn.net/gfx/news/hires/2021/gangotri-wave-connecti.jpg" data-sub-html="Figure 1. (Top) 13CO integrated intensity map from the SEDIGISM survey in the velocity range −95 to −75 km s−1 showing a wave-like feature. (Bottom) 12CO integrated intensity map from the ThrUMMS survey in the same velocity range as the top panel, smoothed to an angular resolution of 5′. Images are stretched along the y-axis for a better visualization.”>

13 Integrated CO density maps from the SEDIGIS survey in the speed range of 95 to 75 km sec 1 Featuring wave-like features. (Down) 12 The integrated CO intensity map from ThrUMMS scans over the same speed range as the top panel, and is smoothed to a 5′ angular resolution. The image is stretched along the y-axis for better visualization.” width=”800″ height=”337″/>

Figure 1. (top) 13Integrated CO density map from SEDIGIS survey in speed range 95 to 75 km sec1 A wave-like feature appears. (lower) 12The CO integrated density map of ThrUMMS scans at the same speed range as the top panel, polished to 5′ angle resolution. The image is stretched along the y-axis for better visualization.

A team of researchers from Germany, France and the UK have discovered a long, thin filament of dense gas that connects the two spiral arms of the Milky Way. In their paper published in Astrophysics Journal Letter, the group describes their work studying carbon monoxide in the galaxy.


Previous research has shown that galaxy It has features called feathers – long gaseous filaments with spines visible from the ground like feathers. However, due to the difficulty of studying the Milky Way from an Earth perspective, such features have not been seen.

In their work, researchers have studied concentration carbon monoxide gas In data from the APEX Telescope in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. They observed a concentration that had never been seen before, and upon closer look, they found that it was part of a massive gas formation that stretched from near the galactic center to the outside, joining the two arms that gave the galaxy its distinctive features. appearance.

Researchers have named the formation the Gangotri wave – in honor of a large glacier whose melting gave rise to the Ganges River. In India, the Milky Way is known as Akasha Ganga. The newly discovered plume extends approximately from 5.6764e + 16 to 1.22989e + 17 kilometers in range between the arms and about 1.6083242e + 17 kilometers from the galactic center of rotation. They also estimate its mass to be about nine suns. Prior to the new discovery, all the tendrils of gas in the Milky Way were aligned with the spiral arms.

The researchers found that Gangotri waves have another unique and interesting feature of not being as straight as expected. Instead, it zigzags back and forth along its length in a pattern similar to a sine wave. The researchers can’t yet explain the strange phenomenon, but they note that there are several forces that must be at play — forces that are likely to be the focus of many future research efforts. The team plans to continue their study of the gas in the Milky Way, this time actively looking for new feathers.


Video: The spinning of the galactic disk in the early universe


further information:

VS Veena et al, Kilobarsec-scale particle waves in the inner galaxy: Milky Way plume?, Astrophysics Journal Letter (2021). DOI: 10.3847 / 2041-8213 / ac341f

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quote: ‘Gangotri wave’ connecting the two spiral arms of the Milky Way (2021, 27 November) discovered on 28 November 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-11-gangotri-milky-spiral-arms.html

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