A mysterious red glow was discovered at the center of the Milky Way for the first time, radiating from an area known as the “oblique disk” that could illuminate the primary source of the power of our spiral galaxy.
Astronomers have used the Wisconsin H-Alpha Mapper telescope to make an interesting discovery.
The American team says this is a warning sign of ionized hydrogen gas – coming from the newly formed stars. They identified the source by comparing other colors of visible light from nitrogen and ionized oxygen.
The oblique disk is located in the central strip area of the Milky Way. It pulsates with ionized hydrogen – abstract from electrons so it is very active.
“Without a continuous source of energy, free electrons usually find each other and converge again to return to a neutral state in a relatively short period of time. The ability to see ionized gas in new ways from It would help us discover the types of sources that could be responsible for keeping all this gas active. ”
His colleague, Professor Bob Benjamin, of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, analyzed WHAM data that revealed the “red flag”. The strange shape that emerges from the center of the dark and dusty Milky Way, is a ionized hydrogen gas that appears in red – and moves toward Earth.
The feature’s position cannot be explained by well-known physical phenomena such as galactic rotation.
Dr. Hafner said: “The ability to make these measurements in optical light allowed us to more easily compare the nucleus of the Milky Way to other galaxies. Several previous studies measured the quantity and quality of ionized gas from the centers of thousands of spiral galaxies throughout the universe. For the first time, we were able to compare The measurements are direct from our galaxy with that large population. ”
Principal author Danesh Krishnarao, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin Madison, took advantage of an existing model to predict how much gas should be there.
Initial data from the WHAM allowed him to improve his calculations, until the team had a precise three-dimensional picture of the structure.
The study, published in Science Advances, found that about half of the hydrogen comes from an unknown source.
“The Milky Way can now be used to better understand its nature,” said Krishnarao.
The ionized gas structure changes as it moves away from the center of the Milky Way. Previously, scientists knew only about the non-ionizing gas present in that region.
“Near the nucleus of the Milky Way, the gas comes from the newly formed stars, but the further away it is from the center, the more extreme things become, and the gas becomes similar to a class of galaxies called liners, or low-ionization emission areas,” Krishnarao explained.
Lining-type galaxies, such as the Milky Way, make up nearly a third of all galaxies. It has centers with more radiation than only the galaxies that make up new stars, but they are less radiant than those whose massive black holes consume an enormous amount of material.
The researchers are now planning to find out the energy source at the center of the Milky Way.