Scientists called this system Magdalene or Maggie.
- The synthesis of hydrogen atoms is an important intermediate step in the evolution of space structures.
- Observing such clouds has so far made it difficult to place the Milky Way disk full of other radioactive material.
- A new study has identified an atomic hydrogen cloud that is “sticking” out of our galaxy.
- According to scientists, it may be the largest or longest structure in the Milky Way.
Let us summarize our universe in one word, that word is hydrogen. This element makes up three-quarters of the ordinary, visible mass in the universe. The rest is mainly helium and in addition (2% of the total mass) extra here and there.
But hydrogen is not like hydrogen. This element forms many isotopes and scatters throughout the universe, but atoms and then highly concentrated molecular clouds, which gradually turn into stars.
Examine that Published Journal of Astronomy & Astrophysics describes a hitherto missing link in this cosmic evolutionary chain.
Clustering of hydrogen atoms in the galaxy plays an important role in the process of molecular cloud formation of cosmic gas.
Since these clouds represent the origin of the stars, their research is a prerequisite for understanding the basic process of galaxies and the evolution of the universe.
However, observations of this intermediate stage of cosmic evolution have so far been hampered by other factors that hinder astronomers’ vision.
Most hydrogen atomic clouds are located in the galaxy where most of our galaxy mass is concentrated. In the case of the Milky Way, it takes the shape of a disk.
The thread that is protruding
An international team of researchers led by the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany was able to find a large cluster of hydrogen outside the galaxy, which greatly facilitated its study.
The hydrogen deposit studied is located 55,000 light-years from Earth, on the opposite side of the Milky Way. So it cannot be observed through the mass of the galaxy disk.
Using data from the Large Series (VLA) Radio Astronomy Laboratory in New Mexico, the researchers measured the velocity of hydrogen under study compared to the rotational speed of the Milky Way.
Observations show that the observed hydrogen forms a coherent structure and consists mainly of atomic hydrogen.
The largest known clouds of molecular hydrogen measure about 800 light-years. However, German astronomers and colleagues measured the observed structure of atomic hydrogen almost five times – 3,900 light-years.
Due to its width of about 130 light-years, it resembles a fiber or filament.
The researchers called the structure Maggie. In memory of Rio Magdalena, Colombia’s longest river, where did the co – author of the study come from, who first observed it.
“The cloud is about 1,600 light-years below the Milky Way galaxy,” said lead researcher Jonas Syed.
“The location of this thread contributed greatly to our success. However, we still do not know how it deviated so significantly from our galaxy’s disk,” the scientist continues.
Perfect intermediate position
Analysis of previous observations shows that magi did not only produce hydrogen in the form of atoms. About eight percent of its mass is made up of hydrogen molecules.
In many areas, hydrogen has accumulated and, according to astronomers, clouds of molecular hydrogen – the origin of stars – have been found to eventually form here.
“Although the origin of magi is not clear, we believe that this structure represents the first occurrence of atomic clouds, which are precursors of large molecular fibers,” the researchers said in the study.