Infinity Symbol of Dense Gas Observed at the Centre of the Milky Way Galaxy
2011-07-21 0:00

From: dailymail.co.uk

New horizons: This bizarre, twisted ring of dense gas at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy was observed by the Herschel Space Observatory


A bizarre, twisted ring of dense gas at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy has been observed by the Herschel Space Observatory.

Only a few portions of the ring, which stretches across more than 600 light-years, were known before.

But Herschel’s view reveals the entire ring for the first time - and a strange kink that resembles a ribbon has astronomers scratching their heads.

Nasa researcher Alberto Noriega-Crespo, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said: ’We have looked at this region at the centre of the Milky Way many times before in the infrared.

’But when we looked at the high-resolution images using Herschel’s sub-millimetre wavelengths, the presence of a ring is quite clear.’

The Herschel Space Observatory is a European Space Agency-led mission with important Nasa contributions.

It sees infrared and sub-millimetre light, which can readily penetrate through the dust hovering between the bustling centre of our galaxy and us. Herschel’s detectors are also suited to see the coldest stuff in our galaxy.

When astronomers turned the giant telescope to look at the centre of the Milky Way, it captured unprecedented views of its inner ring - a dense tube of cold gas mixed with dust, where new stars are forming.

Astronomers were shocked by what they saw - the ring, which is in the plane of our galaxy, looked more like an infinity symbol with two lobes pointing to the side.

In fact, they later determined the ring was torqued in the middle, so it only appears to have two lobes. To picture the structure, imagine holding a stiff, elliptical band and twisting the ends in opposite directions, so that one side comes up a bit.

’This is what is so exciting about launching a new space telescope like Herschel,’ said lead researcher Sergio Molinari of the Institute of Space Physics in Rome, Italy.

’We have a new and exciting mystery on our hands, right at the centre of our own galaxy.’

Observations with the ground-based Nobeyama Radio Observatory in Japan complimented the Herschel results by determining the velocity of the denser gas in the ring.

New horizons: This bizarre, twisted ring of dense gas at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy was observed by the Herschel Space Observatory


The radio results demonstrate that the ring is moving together as a unit, at the same speed relative to the rest of the galaxy.

The ring lies at the centre of our Milky Way’s bar - a bar-shaped region of stars at the centre of its spidery spiral arms. This bar is actually inside an even larger ring.

Other galaxies have similar bars and rings. A classic example of a ring inside a bar is in the galaxy NGC 1097, imaged here by Nasa’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The ring glows brightly in the center of the galaxy’s large bar structure. It is not known if that ring has a kink or not.

The details of how bars and rings form in spiral galaxies are not well understood, but computer simulations demonstrate how gravitational interactions can produce the structures.

Some theories hold that bars arise out of gravitational interactions between galaxies. For example, the bar at the centre of the Milky Way might have been influenced by our largest neighbour galaxy, Andromeda.

The twist in the ring is not the only mystery to come out of the new Herschel observations.

Astronomers say that the centre of the torqued portion of the ring is not where the centre of the galaxy is thought to be, but slightly offset.
The centre of our galaxy is considered to be around Sagittarius A, where a massive black hole lies.

According to Dr Noriega-Crespo, it’s not clear why the centre of the ring doesn’t match up with the assumed centre of our galaxy.
’There’s still so much about our galaxy to discover,’ he said.

The study is published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Source: dailymail.co.uk




Related Articles
Cosmic Hand Reaches for the Light
Unprecedented Double Helix Nebula Near Center Of The Milky Way
Cassini images bizarre hexagon on Saturn
Infinity
Infinity
Lemniscate
Möbius strip
Bubbles of Energy Are Found in Galaxy
NASA Voyager Discover Magnetic ’Bubbles’ At Solar System’s Edge


Latest News from our Front Page

ABC Is Hiding Details of Killer Vester Flanagan's Manifesto ...(Must Be Littered With Liberal Propaganda)
2015-08-29 3:45
Killer Vester Flanagan was a big Obama supporter. But, you’d never know it from the liberal media. The media is hiding Flanagan’s political leanings from the American public. ABC has yet to release Flanagan’s manifesto. It must be littered with embarrassing liberal propaganda. The Tatler reported, via Instapundit: Two days ago, ABC News reported that Vester Flanagan, the murderer of two WDBJ employees, sent a 23-page ...
Austria, Libya count dead as number of migrants crossing Mediterranean soars
2015-08-29 1:37
Austria said on Friday 71 refugees including a baby girl were found dead in an abandoned freezer truck, while Libya recovered the bodies of 82 migrants washed ashore after their overcrowded boat sank on its way to Europe and scores more were feared dead. The U.N. refugee agency said the number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe ...
Financial Times Calls For Abolishing Cash
2015-08-29 1:07
liminating physical currency necessary to give central banks more power The Financial Times has published an anonymous article which calls for the abolition of cash in order to give central banks and governments more power. Entitled The case for retiring another ‘barbarous relic’, the article laments the fact that people are stockpiling cash in anticipation of another economic collapse, a factor which ...
Serbian government bans anti-mass immigration protests, and plans ahead for mass immigration
2015-08-29 1:52
Nebojsa Stefanovic, Serbia’s Interior Minister said protesters who are concerned about “an EU plan” to settle thousands of illegal immigrants into the country, will not be allowed to voice their concerns in a protest march on Monday, 31st of August. “We will not allow the expression of intolerance and hatred to be something that is characteristic of Serbia” said Stefanovic. “The Ministry ...
Germany asks Facebook to remove 'racist' anti-migrant posts
2015-08-28 20:32
Heiko Maas, Germany's justice minister, says social network should remove xenophobic posts in the same way it deals with nudity Germany is calling on Facebook to remove “xenophobic and racist” anti-migrant posts from its website and apps. Heiko Maas, the German justice minister, has written to the company to demand an urgent review of its policy over hate messages. “Photos of certain ...
More News »