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Dark matter and galactic collisions: Harvard astronomers explain the mysterious curvature of the Milky Way

The cause of this is a distorted dark matter halo

Harvard astronomers claim that the Milky Way's warped shape is due to an unbalanced halo of dark matter. This claim supports theories of a previous galactic collision and provides insights into the nature of dark matter. Credit: Stefan Payne-Wardenaar; Magellanic Clouds: Robert Gendler/ESO
Harvard astronomers claim that the Milky Way's warped shape is due to an unbalanced halo of dark matter. This claim supports theories of a previous galactic collision and provides insights into the nature of dark matter. Credit: Stefan Payne-Wardenaar; Magellanic Clouds: Robert Gendler/ESO

The Milky Way galaxy is often described as a flat rotating disk of dust, gas and stars. But if you were to step away and take a picture straight in front of the lip line, it actually has a distinct curvature - as if they were trying to twist and bend a vinyl record.

Although scientists have long known from observational data that the Milky Way is curved and its rim lines flare outward like a skirt, no one has been able to explain why.

Now astronomers from Harvard at the Center for Astrophysics Harvard and the Smithsonian have performed the first calculation that fully explains this phenomenon, with compelling evidence suggesting that the Milky Way is enveloped in a not entirely balanced halo of dark matter. The research also bolsters current thinking about how the galaxy evolved and may provide clues to some of the mysteries of dark matter.

The galactic disk of the Milky Way is warped and expanded, similar to the ESO galaxy in this image. The Hubble Space Telescope photographed this unusual edge-on galaxy, revealing amazing details of its dusty curved disk and showing how colliding galaxies cause new stars to form. The dust and spiral arms of normal spiral galaxies, such as our Milky Way, appear flat when viewed from the rim. Credit: NASA/Space Telescope Science Institute
The galactic disk of the Milky Way is warped and expanded, similar to the ESO galaxy in this image. The Hubble Space Telescope photographed this unusual edge-on galaxy, revealing amazing details of its dusty curved disk and showing how colliding galaxies cause new stars to form. The dust and spiral arms of normal spiral galaxies, such as our Milky Way, appear flat when viewed from the rim. Credit: NASA/Space Telescope Science Institute

The new calculations were led by Jevon Jesse Hahn. The paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy includes co-authors Charlie Conroy and Lars Hernqvist.

Our galaxy is in a diffuse cloud called the stellar halo, which reaches much further into the universe. In a groundbreaking paper published last year, the Harvard team concluded that the stellar halo is tilted and elliptical in shape, like a zeppelin or a football.

Based on this conclusion, the team posited the same shape for the dark matter halo, the larger entity that surrounds everything in and around the Milky Way. Dark matter makes up 80 percent of the galaxy's mass, but is invisible because it does not interact with light, so the shape of the halo must be inferred. The team used models to calculate the orbits of stars within a tilted, elongated dark matter halo, and found an almost perfect match with existing observations of a curved, expanding galaxy.

"A tilted dark halo is actually quite common in imaging, but no one has studied its effect on the Milky Way," Conroy said. "It turned out that the inclination is an elegant way to explain the size and orientation of our galaxy's oscillating disk."

Scientists have long hypothesized that the Milky Way was formed due to a galactic collision, and the astronomers' research highlights this hypothesis even more.

"If the galaxy was just evolving on its own, it would have a nice, spherical halo and a flat disk," Hahn said. "So the fact that the halo is tilted with the shape of a soccer ball suggests that our galaxy has undergone a merger event, where two galaxies collide."

Reference: "A tilted dark halo origin of the Galactic disk warp and flare" by Jiwon Jesse Han, Charlie Conroy and Lars Hernquist, 14 September 2023, Nature Astronomy.
DOI: 10.1038/s41550-023-02076-9

More of the topic in Hayadan:

8 תגובות

  1. Instead of the big bang theory, a physical theory of creation

    Physical reality is created from 5 continuous quantitative things.
    The hallmark of a continuous quantitative thing (dkr) is simple.
    Any quantity that we choose from Dakhar, there is always a larger quantity, and there is a smaller quantity.
    Any quantity that is chosen from Daqar, is always between a zero quantity and an infinite quantity.
    There are 5 dekars in the world, 3 in the geometric field and 2 in the physical field,
    Length, area, volume, belong to geometry, time and energy belong to physics.
    Geometry and physics are the two exact sciences.

    Physical reality appeared after the empty infinite space was filled by two continuous quantitative things, namely energy and passive time.
    Passive time is real time that exists right in physical reality.
    The time we all know does not exist in physical reality, and it disappears as soon as you think about it. This time exists only in the consciousness of the person, and therefore the name ...active time fits it.

    After the infinite space was filled with energy and passive time, the star matter began to appear, which was formed by combining amounts of passive time and energy.
    The matter of the stars is continuous, and has no gravity.

    The combinations of the amounts of passive time and energy created the familiar elements
    Like, gold, carbon, iron and more. Any such conjunction is a physical form, and therefore
    Matter is not a quantitative concept.

    Perpetual motion was embedded in the continuous matter, and each star was always moving.

    This is how the energy of matter movement appeared, followed by many types of energy.

    The law of conservation of energy was embedded in the universe, and it guarantees an eternal universe.

    A physical theory of creation is described in detail in the book.
    "Esbar's magical journey on the wings of natural knowledge"

    A. Asbar

  2. A question about dark matter

    Any new theory has to explain, beyond the dark matter, also everything that the existing theories explain so well. Beyond that - there should also be a way to test the theory.

    What do you think extra dimensions can explain?

    And by the way he ignored annoying - he is a pathological liar.

  3. An article that is a finger in the eye at this time.. How can one take seriously a theoretical article about a mysterious curvature of Harvard University and its scientists Marcia and her students whose entire world view is crooked and distorted?!
    Take for example Einstein who recognized the anti-Semitism in the academies in Germany and Switzerland and their crooked perception and fled to America, as Asbar said it can wait after the war and that sanity may return my addition.

  4. Harvard is an institution with a high nose, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel
    It is possible to publish thousands of studies from institutions that do not identify with Hamas

  5. Newton and gravity - physics of demons and spirits
    When the guns roar the muses are silent.
    This article is intended for discussion starting at 6 o'clock after the war.

    The idea of ​​gravity was given to the world by Newton 330 years ago.
    Newton believed that there was a mysterious and wonderful force emanating from the depths of the earth, and that its whole function was to knock down objects that fell from our hands. Such a mysterious force brings the reader into the world of fairy tales, and the imagination gives this force the image of a friendly, invisible demon.
    Newton gave this demon the nice name "gravitational force".

    Amazingly, Newton carried many believers in the idea of ​​gravity after him, and so began a strange investigation of physical reality, with the physics of demons and spirits.

    Why did Newton invent the delusional idea of ​​gravity.
    Newton did not know that objects that were handed out of our hands fall by themselves, and thus they fulfill a wonderful physical law of nature, which is the law of conservation of energy. This law of conservation was accepted in science only 170 years ago, and Newton obviously did not know about its existence.

    And since Newton did not know that objects fall by themselves, and did not know about the existence of the law of conservation of energy, he invented the idea of ​​gravity. This crazy idea lasted for 160 years in all official physics curricula, thus creating a murky scientific swamp, which prevented any possibility of knowing the true structure of the universe.

    Newton's murky scientific quagmire was canceled out by physical reality that revealed to the world the existence of a miraculous quantitative law, which is the conservation of energy.

    How the law of conservation of energy, eliminates the concept of gravity.
    To lift a large stone off the ground to a height of 1 meter, you have to exert yourself and get tired, and this amount of fatigue represents an amount of energy.
    If we release this stone from a height of 1 meter, it will fall down by itself with increasing speed, and its impact will hit the ground. Show exactly the same amount of energy that was needed to lift the stone to a height of 1 meter.

    This is how the wonderful physical reality works, and it is the one that taught scientists about the existence of an important physical law of nature - the law of conservation of energy.

    There are many types of energy, and they can alternate with each other, according to this law of conservation. Physical reality works by itself, according to miraculous laws inherent in it, and curious researchers of physical reality began to discover these laws.
    The law of conservation of energy that was discovered 170 years ago completely cancels out Newton's physics that requires gravity - and it proves that objects that are separated from our hands - fall by themselves, and there is no mysterious demon in physical reality that knocks them down..

    And what turns out? For 170 years, Newton's physics has been taught in universities, and not a single teacher stood up and shouted "there is no gravity, and Newton's physics is incorrect"
    It must be emphasized that Newton did not know that his physics was incorrect, but already 170 years ago, the physics teachers knew about the existence of the law of conservation of energy that eliminates the idea of ​​gravity, but they did not find the courage to tell this to their students.

    These 170 unfortunate years produced terrible errors in the concept of matter and the structure of the universe, and the concepts of dark matter and dark energy testify to this.

    The time has come to move to a different physics, based on miraculous laws inherent in physical reality. This is the real physics, and it appears in a revolutionary book - which bears the name... "Esbar's magical journey on the wings of natural knowledge"
    This book conflicts with all the physical teachings developed in the last 150 years, and it presents to the world a new physics, and also a new geometry of circles.
    In the new physics, matter is continuous and has no gravity, and the stars of the universe move in spiral orbits in space filled with passive time.
    Passive tense is a new type of tense.

    A. Asbar

  6. Is it possible that most of the dark matter is found in invisible high dimensions, and only the dimension of its gravity is expressed in our dimensions, like a glacier of which only 1/9 of its water is visible? Ours, what do you think?, I would love to read a reference.

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