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Last year we learned that our home galaxy is bigger than we imagined, and now comes word that its shape isn't quite what many have believed it to be. Instead of being a mostly flat spiral disk of stars and gas, new research by astronomers in China and Australia shows that the Milky Way is significantly warped at its edges.
"We usually think of spiral galaxies as being quite flat, like Andromeda, which you can easily see through a telescope," Richard de Grijs, an astronomer at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and a co-author of the paper describing the research, said in a statement. The paper was published Feb. 5 in the journal Nature Astronomy.
Washington, DC--A slow-motion collision between mysterious dark matter and two of the Milky Way's galactic neighbors may be causing our galaxy to warp like a vinyl record left out in the hot Sun, scientists announced today.
Astronomers have puzzled over the Milky Way's warped shape for nearly half a century but have been unable to provide a convincing explanation for what might be causing it.
Dark matter? Wouldn’t it make more sense that other galaxies are pulling on ours, the Milky Way.