Astronomers Successfully Find the Edge of the Milky Way Galaxy, Mystery Solved

Article.news, California — So far, scientists and astronomers have been trying to find the outer boundary of our galaxy, namely the Milky Way Galaxy. After long research, a team of astronomers managed to find more than 200 stars that make up the edge of the Milky Way.

The most distant star is more than a million light years, aka almost halfway to the Andromeda galaxy.

A doctoral student at the university who worked with Guha Thakurta, Yuting Feng led the research and presented his findings this week at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle.

“We can use these variable stars as reliable trackers to determine distances,” said Yuting Feng. “Our observations confirm the theoretical estimate of the size of the halo, so it is an important result,” he said, quoted from Republika.co.id, Wednesday (25/1/2023), which was launched by Gizmodo.

About 208 of the stars identified by the researchers are known as RR Lyrae stars, which are stars with a variable brightness when viewed from Earth.

These stars are usually old and bright, and dim periodically. This mechanism allows scientists to calculate how far it is.

By calculating the distances to these RR Lyrae stars, the team found that the most distant cluster lies about halfway between the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy, one of our cosmic neighbours.

“This study redefines the outer limits of our galaxy,” said Raja Guha Thakurta in a press release. Guha Thakurta is a professor and chair of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California Santa Cruz. “Our galaxy and Andromeda are both huge, there is almost no space between the two galaxies,” he said.

The Milky Way Galaxy consists of several different parts. The main part is a thin spiral disk with a diameter of about 100 thousand light years. Our home solar system is in one of the arms of this disk.

Inner and outer halos surround a disk, and these halos contain some of the oldest stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

Previous studies have placed the outer halo’s edge at 1 million light years from the center of the Milky Way. But based on new research, the edge of this halo should be about 1.04 million light years from the galactic center.

Report : Fadli
Editor : Ruslan Amrullah
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