Researchers are enthusiastic about their latest achievement, namely a new detailed map of the Milky Way. The atlas shows hydrogen layers and structures, which are located both around and inside our galaxy. This is not the researchers’ first attempt at mapping this aspect of the universe, but it is the most accurate by far, as they admit it themselves.
A team of Australian and German scientists was in charge of the project. The new detailed map of the Milky Way is called HI4PI. The document shows the less visible structures in the galaxy and the tiny features that keep them together. Since these details have never been revealed before, the latest map designed by researchers brings this novelty.
Experts used information from two specially designed telescopes. One of them was placed at the Australian research center, and the other one was located in Germany. The researchers explain that the high-tech devices helped them observe objects which were hard to spot, even if they had been closer to Earth.
The design of the new map is based on the amount of hydrogen detected in the space. This is the most common type of gas in the interstellar area. Scientists who were not involved in the project are aware of the importance of the new map. Studying hydrogen and its distribution can lead to an improved understanding of how our galaxy works, as well as to new findings.
Astronomers explain that signals coming from radio-telecommunication facilities interfere with their activity. They disturb the signals coming from galaxies and stars. So it is not an easy task for researchers to map the skies in such conditions.
Mapping the Milky Way and its hydrogen distribution can also help researchers investigate into similar matters of different galaxies.
The European Space Agency also conducted a similar project. The European scientists released a map of our galaxy last month. They used data provided by one of their spacecraft, called Gaia. The tracking of the stars started two years ago. Now, specialists were able to create a 3D atlas of no less than one billion stars in the galaxy.
A new study explaining the detailed map of the Milky Way was published in Astronomy and Astrophysics on October 20. The new map of the galaxy is also available at the Strasbourg astronomical data center.
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