Shining a Light on Cool Pools of Gas in the Galaxy
Newly formed stars shine brightly, practically crying out, “Hey, look at me!” But not everything in our Milky Way galaxy is easy to see. The bulk of material between the stars in the galaxy — the cool hydrogen gas from which stars spring — is nearly impossible to find.
A new study from the Hershel Space Observatory, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA participation, is shining a light on these hidden pools of gas, revealing their whereabouts and quantities. In the same way that dyes are used to visualize swirling motions of transparent fluids, the Herschel team has used a new tracer to map the invisible hydrogen gas.
The discovery reveals that the reservoir of raw material for making stars had been underestimated before — almost by one third — and extends farther out from our galaxy’s center than known before.
The Legend of Zelda - Master Sword appearances (1986-2013)
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Researchers with the Cosmic Flows project have been working to map both visible and dark matter densities around our Milky Way galaxy up to a distance of 300 million light-years, and they’ve now released this new video map which shows the motions of structures of the nearby Universe in greater detail than ever before.
“The complexity of what we are seeing is almost overwhelming,” says researcher Hélène Courtois, associate professor at the University of Lyon, France, and associate researcher at the Institute for Astronomy (IfA), University of Hawaii (UH) at Manoa. Courtois narrates the video.
The video zooms into our local area of the Universe — our Milky Way galaxy lies in a supercluster of 100,000 galaxies — and then slowly draws back to show the cosmography of the Universe out to 300 million light years.