Astronomers have released the most accurate 3D map of our Milky Way galaxy.
3D Milky Way maps were created using data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia Space Probe, which has been scanning stars since 2013.
Hopefully the map we call home will shed new light on the workings of the galaxy.
It helps astronomers measure acceleration and hopefully see how far the universe has expanded since dawn.
The map features an impressive 1.8 billion stars.
ESA unveiled the map and uploaded a mesmerizing YouTube video of how the stars move on the Milky Way.
The ESA said: “New Guy’s data has allowed astronomers to look for different populations of different stars, large and small, on the very edge of our galaxy – on the very edge of the galactic anticancer.
“Computer models predicted that the Milky Way’s disk would get bigger with the birth of new stars.
“The new data allows us to look at the wreckage of a 10 billion-year-old disk and therefore determine a smaller amount than the current disk size of the Milky Way.”
Just as the new 3D map was released, another set of researchers claimed that the Earth was close to a black hole in the center of our galaxy, as previously thought.
There is a huge black hole in the center of the Milky Way called Sagittarius A *.
Astronomers at Japan’s National Astronomical Observatory have been using their own data collected for more than 15 years to map other Milky Way.
They estimated the position of the Earth relative to the black hole in the center of the Milky Way.
Back in 1985, Earth was thought to be 27,700 light-years from Sagittarius A *.
The new map puts it 25,800 light-years away.
Scientists think the Earth will be dragged into a black hole, but there is no need to panic.
25,800 light-years away is a huge distance so for a long time the Earth will be nowhere near Sagittarius A *.
One light-year works about six trillion miles.
Milky Way information
Here are some things you may not know about our galaxy …
- The Milky Way is about the same age as the universe, recently estimated to be about 13.7 or 13.6 billion years old and the Milky Way to be about 13.6 billion years old.
- The Milky Way is disk-sized and measures across approximately 120,000 light-years
- In the middle of this is a supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A *.
- It contains more than 200 billion stars
- It is believed to be an invisible holo made of dark matter
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Are you impressed by the Milky Way map? Let us know in the comments …
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