Here’s how NASA explains how Spiral galaxies get their Shape

Topic: Here’s how NASA explains how Spiral galaxies get their Shape

how Spiral galaxies get their Shape
Magnetic fields seen in this composite image of the M77 galaxy. Photo Credit: NASA/SOFIA; NASA/JPL-Caltech/Roma Tre University.

NASA has shared a stunning photo of the galaxy, named M77, on Instagram, and a brief description of how it has been “shaped.” For a long time, the size of many galaxies, including our own galaxy, has puzzled many scientists. The Milky Way is spiral-shaped and its arms are full of stars. But have you ever wondered how it got its shape? Well, this is the question that had baffled scientists for a long time. The space agency has explained in its new post how magnetic fields played a huge role in shaping various galaxies.

The post is based on research from NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA Telescope. In the caption, NASA states that “spiral galaxies like the Milky Way are shaped by magnetic fields” that are “invisible to the human eye”.

But these magnetic fields are further clarified by combining imagery from the space agency’s Hubble Space Telescope, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Array and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

Explaining the post on Instagram, NASA said, “In this image, scientists measured magnetic fields along the spiral arms of a galaxy called M77. The fields are shown as streamlines that closely follow the circling arms. The magnetic fields are aligned along the entire length of the giant spiral arms – 24,000 light-years across – meaning that the gravitational forces that make up the galaxy’s shape are also compressing its magnetic field.

In a report on its website in December 2020, NASA said that SOFIA studied the Milky Way using far-infrared light (89 µm) to reveal aspects of its magnetic fields, similar to that of visible and radio telescopes. Could not trace previous observations. The report also states that these circular arms owe their shape to what is known as the “density wave theory”. This theory states that the dust, gas, and stars in the spiral arms are constantly moving as stuff is on a conveyor belt.

Source: Gadgets 360

Astronomy News – NASA has shared a stunning photograph on Instagram of a galaxy called M77 – Latest Astronomy news – how Spiral galaxies get their Shape