Milky Way

The universe constantly unfolds mysteries in more ways than one. Now, in the latest turn of event, Spanish astronomers have stated that they believe our galaxy Milky Way is most probably going through a rapid expansion face.

After studying and analyzing other galaxies similar to ours, a researcher from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias in Tenerife, Cristina Martínez-Lombilla has made this claim at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science, which took place in Liverpool.

According to Martínez-Lombilla, the researchers wanted to find out more about the evolution of spiral galaxies that include a huge number of flat stars, dust, and gas, which rotate constantly. As per the study of those researchers, Milky Way is one of them. The galaxy, which is 100,000 light years in diameter, houses billions of stars, which are full of gas and dust and they all interact within their gravitational force.

Milky Way
Credit: Flickr

This interaction determines the shape of a galaxy. It can be spiral, elliptical or even irregular. Milky Way appears to have formed from a spiral structure. So, its elements are capable of intermingling over a flat plane.

“The Milky Way is pretty big already. But our work shows that at least the visible part of it is slowly increasing in size, as stars form on the galactic outskirts,” stated the researcher, reported V3.

Most of the starts that the Milky Way contains are comparatively young in age and since they are mostly situated at the disc of the galaxy, a lot of things are just starting to form here. This means that our galaxy is expanding continuously.

Milky Way
Credit: Max Pixel

In the recent study, Martínez-Lombilla and her colleagues found out that our galaxy is expanding 500 meters every second.

“It won’t be quick, but if you could travel forward in time and look at the galaxy in 3 billion years’ time it would be about 5% bigger than today,” she said.


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