We can finally discover the appearance of a mysterious stream circling the Milky Way

We can finally discover the appearance of a mysterious stream circling the Milky Way

Like Jormungandr It orbits the earth, as well as the whole galaxy. About 200,000 light-years away, a large, high-velocity gas galaxy is encircled.

We know where it is coming from, more or less. It is very closely associated with large and small macelanic clouds, orbiting dwarf galaxies and eventually being cannibalized by the Milky Way. It gives the cosmic serpent its name – the Magellanic Stream.

However, although chemically Magellanic Stream is compatible with Magellanic clouds, there is one feature that confuses astronomers in many ways – its mass. That stream contains gas worth about a billion solar masses, and models cannot explain why two satellite galaxies lose so much.

“That is why,” Astronomer Elena de Ongia explained The University of Wisconsin-Madison said, “We came up with a new solution that was great at explaining the mass of the stream.”

According to their new model, the gas does not come within the megalonic clouds. Conversely, it is ejected from their galaxies – large clouds of gas and plasma covering most galaxies.

All-weather view of the Magellanic Stream. (D. Nidever et al., NROO / AUI / NSF, A.)

The magellanic clouds and the Milky Way dance are an interesting one, with two satellite galaxies orbiting each other and then orbiting the Great Milky Way together. This complex communication Fighting Three constellations and the Milky Way are considered Magellanic will disrupt the clouds.

Previously, it was thought that two dwarf galaxies came into the sphere of gravitational pull of the Milky Way, causing a tidal wave to expel the Magellanic current from the Milky Way. But this model can only contain about 10 percent of the observed mass of the stream.

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“The stream is a 50-year-old puzzle,” said Andrew Fox, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute. “We never had a good explanation of where it came from. The really exciting thing is that we’ll close a description now.”

What’s new here is recent research into what constitutes megalonic clouds Large enough to have their own haloes.

The team, led by astronomer Scott Luccini of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, conducted their own simulations on how Magellanic clouds are being pulled into orbit around the Milky Way.

They calculated that the halo of hot gas around the Magellanic clouds, known as the Magellanic corona, would have dramatically changed the way the Magellanic stream formed.

According to their simulations, creation is a two-stage process. The first phase occurred long before the Magellanic clouds were captured by the Milky Way, but while they were still orbiting each other. The Large Magellanic Cloud stole a whole mass of material from a small Magellanic cloud and lost a small amount of gas.

The process took about 5.7 billion years, with gas worth about 3 billion solar masses, covering the two galaxies when they were captured by the Milky Way. At this point, gravitational forces planted the seeds for the Magellanic current, giving the halo 10 to 20 percent of its final mass.

Animation M.C.Animation of simulation. (Elena de Ongia and Scott Luccini / University of Wisconsin-Madison)

In the second phase, after two galaxies were captured in Milky Way orbit, the interactions with our galaxy’s own galaxy and own galaxy ejected one-fifth of the mass of the Magellanic corona to form the remaining current.

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According to the team’s simulations, these two-stage events reproduce the structure and mass of the Magellanic Stream, including the branch of the so-called front arm that orbits in front of two dwarf galaxies.

We do not directly detect the Magellanic corona, but the team model provides the tools to do so.

The gas cloud must have high ionized levels of carbon and silicon. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, we can observe distant quasars via the Magellanic Corona and analyze their light to see if it travels through significant clouds of these objects in the direction of sunlight.

“Background-quasar views offer the opportunity to discover the Magellanic corona because they are unaffected by the galaxy of the large Magellanic cloud.” The researchers wrote in their paper.

Research has been published Natural.

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Cary Douglas

About the Author: Cary Douglas

Wayne Ma is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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