Explanation found for the spiral arms of the Milky Way

(ORDO NEWS) — Eleven billion years ago, a galaxy that looked like an eye sparkling through space. Now, using data from the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers took a picture of his unblinking gaze.

Galaxy, R5519 consists of a flat ring of stars with a hole in the middle punched by another galaxy. Such formations are called “ring-shaped” and rarely form in the modern universe.

Galaxies in the early universe were very active, literally whipping hot gas and turning it into stars. R5519 is no exception: “It makes stars 50 times faster than the Milky Way’s star formation,” according to a statement by astronomer Tidian Yuan of Swinburne, Australia.

Researchers claim that most of the ring galaxies in our universe are formed as a result of internal processes. And only one in a thousand is formed as a result of a collision. However, according to a new article published in the journal Nature Astronomy, the shape of the galaxy R5519 is indeed the result of a collision with another galaxy.

Scientists are sure that for the formation of the ring, the galaxy must first be a wide flat disk of stars and gas. One such disk, which formed about 9 billion years ago, has turned into a spiral galaxy, the Milky Way, which has a similar sister in the neighborhood – the Andromeda galaxy.

But the R5519 disk was supposed to exist 2 billion years before a collision with another galaxy. That is, it was formed just 3 billion years after the Big Bang.

“This discovery suggests that the formation of disks in spiral galaxies took place over a longer period of time than previously thought,” said Kenneth Freeman, an astronomer and co-author of an article at Australian National University. That is, the Milky Way was very similar to the galaxy R5519 – a disk of stars and gas, and it had much more time for the formation of arms, and without a dense center, the arms never form.


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