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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The mystery of spiral galaxies and their mysterious sleeves


Astronomers have discovered the largest recognized spiral galaxies and they have identified the "skeleton" of the Milky Way. Our own Milky Way, most likely, is a spiral galaxy. Indeed, our solar system and the Earth are somewhere close to one of his whiskers, pulled back the sleeves.

And almost 70% of the galaxies closest to the Milky Way are a spiral. But despite their general morphology of galaxies, such as our form and retain their characteristic features, which remains a puzzle in astrophysics. Are their sleeves in spiral galaxies? Whether they can appear and disappear over time?


The answers to these questions and more, are now coming into focus, require the use of powerful new computer simulations to follow the movements of about 100 million "star particles", as well as gravity and other astrophysical forces.

A team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics simulation stated that seems to have found solution to the puzzle and the life history of the spiral arms in disk galaxies.

According to them, the stellar spiral arms are not transient, as stated in a few decades, self-replicating, persistent and surprisingly long ones. The new results suggest that they occur in the first place due to the impact of a giant molecular clouds and star forming regions, which are common in many galaxies.

New replication can be used to construe observations, looking at the high-density molecular clouds, as well as gravity-induced holes in space as the mechanisms that control the formation of specific arms of spiral galaxies.

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