Astronomers Discover One of The Biggest Structures Ever Seen in The Milky Way

Our Universe was born in a huge explosion that gave rise to the first particles and laws of physics.

The building block of stars, hydrogen, was formed about 370,000 years ago. It can be hard to detect individual clouds of hydrogen gas in the ISM.

It is difficult to research the early phases of star formation because of this.

An international team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy have discovered a huge hydrogen gas cloud in our universe. One of the longest structures ever observed in our galaxy is named 'Maggie', which is located about 55,000 light-years away.

T. Mller/J. Syed are associated with the MPIA.

The section of the Milky Way is measured by the Gaia satellite. The location of the 'Maggie' filament is marked by a box and a false-color image of atomic hydrogen distribution is marked by a red line.

The study that describes their findings was led by a student at the MPIA.

He was joined by researchers from the University of Vienna, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, the University of Calgary, and the Arge.

The data used in the research is from the HI/OH/Recombination line survey of the Milky Way.

This project uses the VLA's radio dishes to study the formation of clouds, the conversion of atomic to hydrogen, and the ISM.

The ultimate goal is to determine how the two most common hydrogen isotopes converge to create dense clouds that rise to new stars. Atomic hydrogen is composed of one electron, one protons, and no neutrons, and molecular hydrogen is composed of one electron, one protons, and no neutrons.

The latter will develop into relatively compact clouds where new stars will eventually emerge.

The process of how atomic hydrogen transitions tomolecular hydrogen is still largely unknown, which made this long filament an especially exciting find.

The largest known clouds of molecular gas measure around 800 light-years in length, but Maggie measures 3,900 light-years long and 130 light-years wide. Syed explained in a recent MPIA press release.

The location of this filament has contributed to this success. We don't know how it got there. The Milky Way plane is about 1600 light-years below the filament. We were able to determine the velocity of the hydrogen gas. We were able to show that the velocities along the filament barely differ.

The team's analysis showed that matter in the filament had a mean velocity of 54 km/s-1, which they determined by measuring it against the rotation of the Milky Way disk. The structure was visible because thehydrogen line was visible against the background.

The observations allowed us to determine the speed of the hydrogen gas. We were able to show that the velocities along the filament barely differ.

The researchers concluded that the structure was a coherent one. Juan D. Soler, an astronomer with the University of Vienna, was the co-author of the paper.

He named it after the longest river in his native country, the Ro Magdalena. The current study proves that the THOR data is a coherent structure, despite the fact thatMaggie was recognizable in Soler's earlier evaluation.

The team estimated that Maggie has 8 percent hydrogen by mass fraction.

The team noticed that the hydrogen gas accumulates into large clouds at certain points along the filament. They think that atomic gas will condense into a molecule in those environments.

Many questions remain unanswered. More data that we hope will give us more clues about the fraction of the molecule are waiting to be analyzed.

Several space-based and ground-based observatories will be operational soon, and telescopes that will be equipped to study these filaments in the future. The first stars in our Universe and the earliest period of the Universe will be seen with the James Webb Space Telescope and radio surveys.

The article was published by Universe Today. The original article can be found here.