Izay Ayesha analyses a perennial question
Scientific contours of astronomy are stretching expanding borders Of the milky Way by the day as extremely sophisticated and effective instruments are exploring the hidden secrets of the universe we live in. It is commonly known that hundreds of billions of stars make up the barred spiral galaxy that humans inhabit with thousands of other living species. This matter has been a consistent subject of discussion within the scientific community as it considers it to be of vital interest to the human race. It is quite obvious that this subject is extremely complicated and requires concentrated efforts and also needs highly sophisticated technological equipment to delve into so that appropriate results are deduced.
It is now widely acknowledged that the legendary Milky Way’s 100,000 light-years’ diameter is full of stars of different masses, luminosities, and ages and the beauty of the exercise is that new stars constantly make their presence felt from time to time. The new editions complicate the structure of the Milky Way but make it an object that needs more exploration. The process is very fascinating therefore despite its complicity scientists are very keen and enthusiastically pursue their research. The issue is now global in content with enormous resources pooled to address it with consistent work.
Modern astronomy is witness to the fact that the addition of new stars to the mix is a usual phenomenon and does not appear to end any time soon. Star formation also appears to be a constant occurrence that includes their births at the outer edges of the galaxy. The continuous process gives rise to the observation that these young stars forming near the galactic edge are instrumental in expanding the size of the Milky Way. This is a phenomenon that is construed as almost infinite in nature and now it is looked at from this angle.
The astronomical observations are pointing out to the calculations that older, lower-mass stars are abundant near the galaxy’s center and in the halo that looms around the Milky Way’s disk. In addition, it is also observed that younger stars form within the disk itself (the spiral arms). Owing to the discovery that some of these hotbeds for star formation lie near the disk’s edge the astronomers apply research tools to find out whether these new additions create an impact upon the actual dimensions of the Milky Way.
Expanding Borders Of Milky Way
The main obstacle in actually calculating the Expanding Borders Of the Milky Way is that human beings are part of the entire universe that contains the Milky Way. So astronomers find it difficult to determine the size of the Milky Way while located within its perimeters. To overcome this difficulty astronomers are resolved to study nearby spiral galaxies with similar properties to our own. They decided to focus on NGC 4565, a galaxy with a 100,000 light-year diameter estimated to be between 30 and 50 million light-years from Earth.
The astronomers employ a combination of space- and ground-based telescopes to observe star activity on the outer edges of NCG 4565’s disk. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope allows them to collect optical data, while the Spitzer and GALEX space telescopes gather near-infrared and near-UV data that provide them with the opportunity to see and study the motions and colors of distant stars. The variety of technological instruments is increasing by the day and countless companies are mandated to manufacture them around the world. This activity is carried out both in the public and private sectors and is practically unceasing.
While doing so they specifically measured the light emitted from these areas to determine the types of stars present and found out that they were mainly young blue stars. In the same vein, they then proceeded to measure their movement within the region for determining the length of time required by them to begin traveling outward. The findings were based on the movement pattern of the stars which led the astronomers to calculate that galaxies similar to our Milky Way are regularly expanding at the rate of approximately 1,640 feet per second. They consider the speed of expansion as very significant.
Astronomers are of the view that the already large Milky Way is expanding its size slowly but surely. The increase is primarily due to the reason that stars continuously form on the galactic outskirts. Astronomers understandably predict that in about 3 billion years the size of the Milky Way may increase to about 5 percent, considered a phenomenal increase allowing for its already gigantic size and indefinite vastness. The astronomers also expect that the size of The Milky Way may alter after its anticipated collision with the Andromeda Galaxy but they expect that such a development is at least 4 billion years in the future, and in the interim things may change.