Milky Way’s Halo: New Data Unveils Intriguing Features

milky way clumpy halo

According to a recent report, our galaxy has entered something called “the recycling process.” 

A team of astronomers succeeded in finding out new intriguing things about Milky Way. Apparently, our galaxy is encircled by a clumpy halo of hot gases. More significantly, the halo receives new matter discharged by dying or birthing stars. How is this possible? New data provides some answers.

Here is what you need.

Milky Way’s halo in the Spotlight

Milky Way’s halo is dubbed the circumgalactic medium (CGM). According to previous research, it was our galaxy’s incubator approximately 10 billion years ago. Some scientists even believe that it was where the basic matter since the birth of the Universe might be. 

HaloSat, a minisatellite, made the recent observations. Using the minisatellite’s data, the team determined that the CGM possesses a disk-like shape. Also, where our galaxy is producing stars, there are more X-rays emissions from the CGM. 

Such a thing indicates that CGM is related to star birth. We could see gas previously discharged into the Milky Way, helped produce stars, and now is entering a recycling phase into the CGM. 

CGM Features and Other Significant Details

It is known that every galaxy contains CGM, and the areas are essential to comprehending not only how galaxies developed and evolved. Also, scientists can understand how the Universe evolved from a batch of helium and hydrogen to a cosmological community of planets, comets, and other cosmic features.

HaloSat’s mission started back in 2018. Its goal represents a continuous quest for atomic remnants dubbed baryonic matter. Such a component is said to be missing since the Universe’s birth. The minisatellite has been investigating our galaxy’s CGM for any proofs the remnant baryonic matter might be there. 

So far, the scientists found that if the CGM is mainly composed of recycled matter, it would be a thin, sleek, puffy gas layer. It would also be an unlikely host of the missing material.

Philip Kaaret, a professor at the Iowa Department of Physics and Astronomy, released a statement. He said: 

“What we’ve done is definitely showing that there’s a high-density part of the CGM that’s bright in X-rays, that makes lots of X-ray emissions.”

Further investigation is needed. 

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