Astronomers Realize The Milky Way Is Too Big For Its Environment – ScienceAlert

Astronomers Realize The Milky Way Is Too Big For Its Environment - ScienceAlert
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Our home, the Milky Way, doesn’t seem particularly strange for a galaxy. Medium-sized, spiral-shaped, a few messes a thought provoking destructive trap.

But astronomers have identified a peculiarity never seen before in any galaxy studied: The Milky Way is too large for its surroundings.

Specifically, it seems too big for the neighborhood known as the neighborhood it sits in. Local Page. This flattened arrangement of galaxies share similar velocities, relatively empty space on both sides called space.

Our Local Linen, as an example of a ‘cosmological wall’, Local Space in one direction from the South Gap in the other.

The relationship between galaxies on the Local Page seems to have a strong influence on their behavior; for example, similar speeds It’s about the expansion of the universe. Outside of the cosmological wall environment, these velocities would have a much wider range.

To determine the impact our environment has on the galaxies around us, a team of astronomers led by Miguel Aragón of the National Autonomous University of Mexico conducted an analysis using simulations from a project called illustrisTNGmodels the physical Universe.

They didn’t expect to find anything particularly out of the ordinary.

“The Milky Way is special in a way” Aragon says. “Earth is so obviously special, the only home of life we ​​know of. But it’s not the center of the Universe, or even the Solar System. And the Sun is just an ordinary star among billions of stars in the Milky Way. Even our galaxy looked like it. It’s just one of the billions of others in the observable Universe. to be another spiral galaxy.”

But when they simulated a volume of space millions of light-years across and containing millions of galaxies, a different picture emerged: A handful of galaxies as massive as the Milky Way could be contained within a cosmological wall structure.

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“The Milky Way has no particular mass or type. There are many spiral galaxies roughly similar to the Milky Way.” says astronomer Joe Silk From the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris of the Sorbonne University in France.

“But it’s rare if you take your surroundings into account. If you could easily see the nearest dozen or so large galaxies in the sky, you’d see them all resting on a ring almost embedded in the Local Page. That’s a bit too much. It’s a bit special in itself. What we just found is that the Local Page is inside other galactic walls in the Universe, like the Milky Way. it seldom appears to have a galaxy so large.

The team’s analysis did not take into account Andromeda, the Milky Way’s largest galactic neighbor. Also a feature of the Local Page – and thus part of the same cosmological wall – is a galaxy of similar size to the Milky Way. Their conclusions still hold, as having two heavyweights in a cosmological wall would be even rarer.

However, the research highlights that when studying the Milky Way, we may need to consider our local environment, rather than assuming that our home is stuck on an average point in the Universe.

Because the team’s simulations only evaluate the context of the Milky Way within a cosmological wall, perhaps future studies can explain more galaxies within the Local Group. The researchers also note that the environmental context may help explain some previously unexplained phenomena, such as the unusual arrangement of satellite galaxies around Andromeda. their strange lack around the Milky Way.

“You have to be careful when choosing properties that qualify as ‘private’.” says astronomer Mark Neyrinck From the Basque Science Foundation in Spain.

“If we added a ridiculously restrictive condition to a galaxy, such as it should include the article we wrote about it, we’d certainly be the only galaxy in the observable Universe to be that way. But we think it’s ‘too big for its wall’ property, physically meaningful and really It’s observationally relevant enough to say it’s special.”

The research was published in the journal. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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