The Milky Way Galaxy slowly reveals many of its secrets, and scientists could not be more excited. Astronomers used data from the Gaia mission and the Spitzer Space Telescope and identified a group of young stars and gas clouds inside the spiral arms of the Milky Way.
The structure of young stars is located at 3,000 light-years out of the Sagittarius Arm. According to the study published in the Astronomy & Astrophysics Journal, it is a high pitch angle structure. The form is common for star formations inside spiral galaxies, such as ours.
25 star-forming regions have been identified
Astronomers discovered 25 star-forming regions and observed a segment with a 56° pitch angle. It was previously believed that the Sagittarius Arm forms a spiral with a pitch angle of 12°. The previous conclusions come from observing other galaxies. After observing similar galaxies, scientists determined that spiral arms, such as the Sagittarius Arm, inside the Milky Way, have small structured. Some of the structures are dust and luminous stellar features.
Using the 3D mapping technique of star symbols, astronomers discovered a kiloparsec-long structure inside the arm. Also, the newly identified structures are massive sat-formations and other smaller formations without ionizing stars. These findings are pretty impressive because our planet is positioned inside the Orion Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. Earth’s position makes it difficult for scientists to draw maps of other arms and further determine their characteristics.
Each discovery about our Galaxy or others is essential in trying to solve the mysteries of our Universe. The newly discovered Galactic feature helps scientists understand more things about the Milky Way. Other galaxies also have high pitch angle structures, and they are also connected with spiral arms such as the Sagittarius Arm. The study was possible thanks to the European Space Agency mission Gaia and based on data from the Spitzer Space Telescope.