Scientists from ESA to more accurately calculate the mass of the milky Way

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2019-03-08 23:30:08

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Scientists from ESA to more accurately calculate the mass of the milky Way

Astronomers from the European space Agency (ESA) were able to more accurately calculate the approximate mass of our milky Way. It turned out that it is two times more than predicted by previous studies. How? Almost half. The findings of the study in 2016 talked about the fact that the mass of the milky Way may be about 750 billion solar masses. ESA specialists indicate another figure – almost 1.5 trillion. Why the difference?

More accurately calculate the mass of our galaxy helped two spacecraft – a telescope "Hubble" NASA space Observatory and the ESA Gaia. Combining the received monitoring data of the velocity of the dense groups of stars that revolve around spiral disk Galaxies at large from the destruction, scientists were able to bring more accurate figures.

"the more massive the galaxy is, the faster under the influence of gravity move in it globular clusters", — says astrophysicist at the University of Cambridge Wyn Evans.

"In most previous research, the scientists performed the calculation with only the speeds of approaching or distancing of globular clusters relative to the Earth, that is, the expected speed of the movement cluster only along the line of observation. In the new study, we were also able to measure the lateral rate of displacement of the clusters and were able to more accurately calculate how the mass and velocity of the galaxy."

Current estimates indicate that within the milky Way contains about 200 billion stars. In the center of our galaxy is a supermassive black hole Sagittarius a*, which adds to the total mass of 4 million solar masses. Another part of the mass is accounted for galactic dust and gas and planets. But all this, as scientists say, is only a small fraction of the total mass of our galaxy, not more than 10 percent. Where does the rest mass? From dark matter. And as noted in the statement of ESA, such a strong difference in the estimates of mass "is mainly due to difference in the methods of calculating its distribution within the milky Way." As dark matter emits no electromagnetic radiation and does not interact directly with it, makes it difficult or even impossible its direct observation.

Despite the fact that a new assessment of the mass make our milky Way is one of the biggest galaxies in class, our galaxy does not go to any comparison with these "hippos", whose weight could exceed 30 trillion solar. However, the Local group of galaxies the milky Way took the place of the king (or Queen if you want). Scientists have long believed that the biggest galaxy in the local cluster is the Andromeda galaxy with their vastmuscle billion solar masses, milky Way is the second. Apparently, now the leadership has changed.

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