Galaxys warp explained by Magellanic Clouds plowing through dark matter halo
An image of the warped hydrogen layer of the Milky Way.The colored contours are warped "up" with regard to the Galactic Plane, the grey contours are warped "down."
An image of the 3 notes or modes that make up the vibration of the hydrogen layer.
The most prominent of the Milky Ways satellite galaxies - a pair of galaxies called the Magellanic Clouds - appears to be interacting with the Milky Ways ghostly dark matter to create a mysterious warp in the galactic disk that has puzzled astronomers for half a century.
The warp, seen most clearly in the thin disk of hydrogen gas permeating the galaxy, extends across the entire 200,000-light year diameter of the Milky Way, with the sun and earth sitting somewhere near the crease. Leo Blitz, professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, and his colleagues, Evan Levine and Carl Heiles, have charted this warp and analyzed it in detail for the first time, based on a new galactic map of hydrogen gas (HI) emissions.
Robert Sanders | EurekAlert!
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