New data on the shape of our galaxy have been obtained. Contrary to popular belief that the Milky Way has the shape of a flat disk, it turned out that the galaxy is warped, like the letter S.
To create an accurate 3D model of our galaxy, scientists observed Cepheids, young large stars within the Milky Way. Based on their variable brightness, scientists estimated distances between celestial objects. Light travels a certain distance before it reaches the Earth, therefore, when compiling cosmological maps, scientists often rely on the brightest landmark stars.
As part of the new study, distances to 2.4 thousand such stars have been calculated producing the most accurate map ever made. Astronomers have concluded that our galaxy is highly twisted resembling the letter S in shape. The reasons for that have not yet been established, but researchers suggest that it may be the consequence of a collision with another large galaxy or the result of dark matter gravity.
But whatever the reason, the information obtained was visualized as a three-dimensional map, which can be seen in the video below. The large yellow dot in the center is our Sun.
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