The Milky Way Reveals One of the Biggest Structures That Was Ever Found

Credit: Pixabay.com

There are more discovered stars in the Universe than there are grains of sand on all the beaches from Earth. Therefore, it’s easy to conclude that our Milky Way galaxy is also loaded with stars. Astronomers estimate that there’s a total of 100 billion to 200 billion stars in the galaxy.

You may have guessed by now that the Milky Way galaxy is big. Bigger than we can imagine. It’s so big that it would take 100,000 years for light to travel from one of its extreme points to the opposite one. But even so, scientists still discover structures within our galaxy that leave them speechless due to their size.

The “Maggie” hydrogen gas structure puzzles scientists

According to ScienceAlert.com, an international team of astronomers led by scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy (MPIA) has discovered Maggie, meaning a massive filament of atomic hydrogen gas. It’s located in our own galaxy, about 55,000 light-years away from our planet.

The filament measures 3,900 light-years long and 130 light-years wide. How the filament came to exist in our galaxy is pretty much a mystery.

Jonas Syed, leader of the study, explained during an MPIA press release:

The location of this filament has contributed to this success. We don’t yet know exactly how it got there. But the filament extends about 1600 light-years below the Milky Way plane. The observations also allowed us to determine the velocity of the hydrogen gas. This allowed us to show that the velocities along the filament barely differ.

For the new study, researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the University of Vienna, the Argelander-Institute for Astronomy, the Indian Institute of Science, the University of Calgary, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), the Universit├Ąt Heidelberg, the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIFR), and the Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science participated.

The study was published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Cristian Antonescu
Cristian is in love with technology as many of us. He has a vast experience as a content writer in the field. He's involved especially in the gaming area, where he covers the latest news in open-world, role-playing, and first-person shooter titles.