A team of astronomers has found an unbelievably massive gas filament extending throughout the Milky Way that’s so big it’s almost hard to believe that no one spotted it before. The massive filament of space gas is so huge that the team that discovered it doesn’t even know what is it exactly?
The research will be published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters and is available as a preprint at the moment. On the other hand, it’s possible that the filament named “Cattail” according to ScienceAlert, is something that hasn’t been discovered previously. But it’s also possible that the Cattail is just a part of the Milky Way’s spiral arms.
What could be this structure?
At the surface, the structure seems like it would be easy to determine whether it is part of the overall structure of the galaxy or something of its own. The Nanjing University scientists can zoom at it to get a closer look, but measuring the size and distance of cosmic objects from our planet is a hard task, notes ScienceAlert, and the Cattail doesn’t fall in line with these explanations.
As the scientists wrote in the paper, “it is puzzling that the structure does not fully follow the warp of the galactic disk.” They added, “while these questions remain open with the existing data, the observations provide new insights into our understanding of the galactic structure.”
Milky Way is full of mysteries
Besides, another study claims to have discovered more than 100 stellar-mass black holes hiding in the cluster of stars moving across Milky Way. The cluster known as Palomar 5 is situated around 80,000 light-years away from our planet with the stars themselves at 30,000 light-years distance from one another within the cluster. But it’s the black holes that have been intriguing scientists.
The discovery has allowed the classification of Palomar 5 as a tidal cluster and not a globular cluster. The main difference between the two is the spread of stars – globular clusters have stars that were formed around the same time, while tidal clusters pack stars of different ages that are distributed loosely in a stream.