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Astronomers have created new 3D map of Milky Way galaxy which was published in the journal Science.
The team, made up of researchers from the University of Warsaw in Poland, The Ohio State University, and The University of Warwick in England, analyzed images of nearly 2,500 classical Cepheid stars to create the model, the most comprehensive of its kind.
A Cepheid variable is a type of star that pulsates radially, varying in both diameter and temperature and producing changes in brightness with a well-defined stable period and amplitude.
“The problem astronomers have typically had in studying the Milky Way is that, because we reside in it, it is hard to see the parts that are far away — we cannot move outside the Galaxy and look at it,” said Dr. Radek Poleski, a postdoctoral researcher at the Ohio State University and the University of Warsaw’s Astronomical Observatory.
“What we were able to do in this study that hasn’t been done before is to take a very large sample of objects — uniformly selected and organized — to build a model of the Milky Way.”
Scientists combined optical and infrared data to determine the stars’ pulsation periods and mapped the distribution of Cepheids and the associated young stellar populations across the Galaxy.
“Our map shows the Milky Way disk is not flat. It is warped and twisted,” said Dr. Przemek Mroz, an astronomer with the University of Warsaw’s Astronomical Observatory. “This is the first time we can use individual objects to show this in 3D.”
“It’s an important link to knowing which stars have formed and how they’ve evolved, and what constraints might be on where life can start and evolve,” Dr. Poleski said.
Source: Text; http://www.sci-news.com
Image credit; http://www.sci-news.com, Wikipedia, www.pbs.org
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