Milky Way could be Bigger than Previously Estimated

Milky Way could be Bigger than Previously Estimated

A new study on earth’s Milky Way could enhance a science lover’s knowledge. The study revealed that the Milky Way galaxy that contains earth’s solar system could be bigger than previously thought. As per scientists who conducted the new study, the width of the galaxy could be from the earlier assumed estimate of 100,000 light years to at least 150,000 light years.

According to the scientists, the galaxy’s spirals have rippled nature which means a wavy continuum of stars instead of a flat continuum of stars. It could be the reason why scientists were not able to measure the actual size of the Milky Way. The study stated that the galaxy could be 50,000 light years larger than previously thought.

During the new study, the scientists studied a band of stars called the Monoceros Ring. The ring was discovered in 2002. At that time, the stars had surrounded the outer-reaches of the Milky Way. Before the new study, scientists thought that the band comprises ‘a tidal debris stream’ that was left over from remnants of a neighboring dwarf galaxy.

Astronomer Heidi Newberg said that during the new study, the scientists found that the Milky Way’s disk is not just a disk of stars. “It radiates outward from the sun, we see at least four ripples in the disk of the galaxy. While we can only look at part of the galaxy with this data, we assume that this pattern is going to be found throughout the disk”, Newberg added.

As per the scientists, 3D, high-resolution images of the ring of stars could provide help in discovering more information about the size of the galaxy. Now, scientists have planned to use Gaia telescope in Europe to discover more about the galaxy. They have also planned to analyze the stars beyond the Monoceros filament.