Scientists Make Most Detailed Map Of The Milky Way

Posted: Oct 21 2016, 6:02am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

Scientists Make Most Detailed Map of the Milky Way
This HI4PI map was produced using data from the 100-m Max-Planck radio telescope in Effelsberg, Germany and the 64-m CSIRO radio telescope in Parkes, Australia. The image colors reflect gas at differing velocities. The plane of the Milky Way runs horizontally across the middle of the image. The Magellanic Clouds can be seen at the lower right. Credit: Benjamin Winkel, Max Planck Institute, and the HI4PI collaboration
  • Scientists map the Milky Way dubbing the atlas HI4PI
 

The improved map reveals small details including position of hydrogen gas between stars for the first time

Astronomers from Germany and Australia have developed a new map of the Milky Way. The map is being deemed spectacular as it shows fine details of stars for the first time.

In the map the distance and structures between stars have been made visible using hydrogen gas. The position of hydrogen gas all around the galaxy has provided such detailing in the map being called HI4PI.   

The new map was designed using radio telescopes; the 100-meter Max-Planck radio telescope in Germany along with the 64-meter CSIRO radio telescope in Australia.

More than a million individual observations using the two enormous radio telescopes led to the collection of data necessary for the intricate map. 

What’s really interesting about the map is its ability to show the gas formations around the stars for the first time. Lister Staveley-Smith is a researchers working at the Australian International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.

According to Staveley-Smith tiny gas clouds are often not visible due to their small size and dim nature. However in the new map these tiny clouds are visible, which are considered to be responsible for fueling star formations in the Milky Way about a billion years ago.   

The map also shows the total hydrogen content and its velocity relative to Earth, suing various colors. Colors have been used to portray hydrogen gas rotating in the galaxy at different velocities.

Basically this map constructed using gas positions can show tiny details which visual maps cannot. As stated by Jay Pasachoff, an astronomer at Williams College, the presence of dust in the galaxy prevents them from into the very center.  Radio waves produced from hydrogen on the other hand can penetrate the whole galaxy. 

The research was published today in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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