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Thread: Milky Way galaxy is warped and twisted, not flat - BBC News report

  1. #1
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    Milky Way galaxy is warped and twisted, not flat - BBC News report

    This has come on the news wire at the BBC website

    Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is "warped and twisted" and not flat as previously thought, new research shows.

    Analysis of the brightest stars in the galaxy shows that they do not lie on a flat plane as shown in academic texts and popular science books.

    Astronomers from Warsaw University speculate that it might have been bent out of shape by past interactions with nearby galaxies
    So what do we make of this?

    Do we know of any other warped galaxy?

  2. #2
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    I think the case for interactions is stronger than mere speculation. My educated guess is that the Milky Way merged with a smaller galaxy that came in on a path inclined to the original plane, and that the warping is from the momentum component that was crossways to the plane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    This has come on the news wire at the BBC website

    So what do we make of this?

    Do we know of any other warped galaxy?
    They're almost certainly more common than flat discs. In 1991, the estimate was that at least half of all galactic discs are warped. In 2006, a survey of edge-on spirals found that almost three-quarters showed a warp, either S- or U-shaped. So it would have been marginally more special if we'd discovered the Milky Way was flat.

    Grant Hutchison

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    As well as what grant said, there is nothing new about this idea that the MW disk is warped. There are a lot of papers on this.

    More or less at random here is one from 2007:

    Reaffirming the connection between the Galactic stellar warp and the Canis Major overdensity

    https://arxiv.org/abs/0707.4440

  5. #5
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    Then there is other research, some recent, that says The Milky Way galaxy is symmetric, warped and symmetric?

    https://www.wired.com/2011/05/milky-way-symmetry/
    https://theconversation.com/keplers-...esearch-121017

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    Then there is other research, some recent, that says The Milky Way galaxy is symmetric, warped and symmetric?

    https://www.wired.com/2011/05/milky-way-symmetry/
    https://theconversation.com/keplers-...esearch-121017
    Notice that is actually from 2011, and it mentions the warp. So more evidence it is not a new finding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    I think the case for interactions is stronger than mere speculation. My educated guess is that the Milky Way merged with a smaller galaxy that came in on a path inclined to the original plane, and that the warping is from the momentum component that was crossways to the plane.
    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    They're almost certainly more common than flat discs. In 1991, the estimate was that at least half of all galactic discs are warped. In 2006, a survey of edge-on spirals found that almost three-quarters showed a warp, either S- or U-shaped. So it would have been marginally more special if we'd discovered the Milky Way was flat.

    Grant Hutchison
    So is it still likely that the warping is a result of collisions with other galaxies? Or just a common natural process of formation for some galaxies? My thinking here that when the galaxies where closer together collisions would be more frequent?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    So is it still likely that the warping is a result of collisions with other galaxies? Or just a common natural process of formation for some galaxies? My thinking here that when the galaxies where closer together collisions would be more frequent?
    Satellite galaxies also. Actual collisions may not be needed, just satellite galaxies on elliptical or out-of-plane orbits ?

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