The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

What is the mass of our Milky Way?

2024-02-27T19:33:20.446Z

Highlights: Scientists use speed of stars to calculate mass of Milky Way. Weight of the Milky Way at 640 billion solar masses. If correct, this suggests that Milky Way contains less dark matter than previously thought. A star from outside our galaxy found its way into the center of the galaxy. This was also determined by the movement of the stars. The appearance of our galaxy also holds surprises for researchers. The search for the coldest point in the universe - Why it is on Earth. The next full moon will be in the sky - read a list of all the dates of the year.



As of: February 27, 2024, 8:15 p.m

By: Nico Reiter

Comments

Press

Split

A research team is trying to determine the weight of our galaxy using a mathematical formula.

The key to the calculation is the stellar speed.

Cambridge – How can you determine the mass of something as massive as the Milky Way?

Can you add up the weight of stars, interstellar gases and dust, and dark matter?

In their study, a team of researchers presents a new approach to solving this puzzle.

Scientists use speed of stars to calculate mass of Milky Way

Their approach is based on the observation that the speed of stars changes depending on their distance from the center of the galaxy.

This so-called rotation curve can provide information about the mass of the Milky Way, which could be anywhere between 600 billion and a trillion solar masses.

This wide range shows how difficult it is to determine mass precisely.

How much does the Milky Way weigh?

© biophoto/Imago

The new study focuses on the escape velocity of stars.

If a star is fast enough, it can escape the Milky Way's gravity.

The minimum speed required for this depends on the mass of the galaxy.

If this minimum speed can be measured, the weight of the galaxy can then be calculated.

However, there are very few stars that can actually escape gravity.

Lighter than expected: Weight of the Milky Way at 640 billion suns

The research team from the Universities of Cambridge and San Diego analyzed data on stellar velocities collected by the Gaia spacecraft.

By measuring the speed and position of these stars, the escape velocity at different locations at different distances from the center of the galaxy could be determined.

By the way, a star from outside our galaxy found its way into the center.

From these speeds, the researchers calculated the mass of the Milky Way and came to an astonishing result of 640 billion solar masses.

This number is at the lower end of previous estimates.

If correct, this suggests that the Milky Way contains less dark matter than previously thought.

Another research team has already concluded that the center of the galaxy contains less dark matter and is less dense than expected.

This was also determined by the movement of the stars.

The appearance of the Milky Way also holds surprises for researchers.

(No)

My news

  • When the next full moon will be in the sky - read a list of all the dates of the year

  • Breakthrough in climate research: US researchers discover CO₂-eating microbes

  • Icelandic volcanic system has erupted again – is this normal?read

  • Observations reveal mysterious galaxy – read “Pushing the Limits of Understanding”.

  • The search for the coldest point in the universe - Why it is on Earth read

  • Supervolcano in Italy: Experts fear eruption near Naples

The editor wrote this article and then used an AI language model for optimization at his own discretion.

All information has been carefully checked.

Find out more about our AI principles here.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2024-02-27

You may like

News/Politics 2024-03-06T18:18:39.241Z
News/Politics 2024-02-27T19:33:20.446Z
News/Politics 2024-02-29T04:25:05.814Z
News/Politics 2024-02-29T10:43:56.840Z

Trends 24h

Latest

© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.