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Know how Twitter helped astronomers to solve mystery behind 'X' shape in Milky Way

Twitter Helped Two Astronomers To Discover The Strong Proof Of An Enormous X-shaped Structure Made Of Stars That Lies Within The Central Bulge Of The Milky Way Galaxy.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Neha Singh | Updated on: 21 Jul 2016, 08:41:02 PM
X-shaped structure in Milky Way

New Delhi:

Twitter helped two astronomers to discover the strong proof of an enormous X-shaped structure made of stars that lies within the central bulge of the Milky Way galaxy.

According to the previous computer models and observations of our own galaxy have suggested that the X-shaped structure existed but was never observed directly. Astronomers have aurged regarding the previous research that pointed the indirect existence of the X-shaped structure. That could have also been proven in different ways.

"There was controversy about whether the X-shaped structure existed. But our paper gives a good view of the core of our own galaxy. I think it has provided pretty good evidence for the existence of the X-shaped structure," said Dustin. Lang, Research Associate at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto. The Milky Way Galaxy is a barred spiral galaxy- a disk-shaped collection of dust, gas and billions of stars, 100,000 light-years in diameter.

The central bulge, like other barred galaxy's bulges, resembles a rectangular box or peanut when viewed- as we view it- from within the plane of the galaxy.

The X-shaped structure is an integral component of the bulge. Lang's analysis was originally intended to aid in his research in mapping the web of galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy.

To help explore the maps Lang had developed from Nasa's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope data, an interactive map browsing website was created by him and he tweeted an image of the entire sky.

"Melissa Ness, post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, saw the tweet and immediately recognised the importance of the X-shaped structure," Lang noted.

"The bulge is a key signature of formation of the Milky Way galaxy. If we understand the bulge we will understand the key processes that have formed and shaped our galaxy," the results appear's in the Astronomical Journal.

Since the bulge was formed in the galaxy never experience any major merging events. If any interactions were made with others galaxies its shape would have been disrupted.

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First Published : 21 Jul 2016, 08:19:00 PM

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