Futurism logo

The spiral arms of the Milky Way are breaking off, and what's causing it?

So what impact will it have on the galaxy?

By CopperchaleuPublished 6 months ago 5 min read
Milky Way

In the Milky Way, galaxies or celestial systems are closely related to each other, and if one of them changes, it is likely to have an impact on the other systems as well, even with serious consequences, such as falling apart.

In recent times, astronomers have discovered through observational data that one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way appears to have broken off, so what effect will it have on the Milky Way?

The spiral arm of the Milky Way

The Milky Way is a flat disk-shaped galaxy with a silver disk and four arms: Sagittarius, Orion, Perseus, and the 3,000-second gap arm, of which the Orion arm covers the solar system and is in the middle of the Sagittarius and Perseus arms.

The arms are filled with various stars or nebulae, and beyond the silver disk are a few sparsely distributed stars and globular, collectively called the silver halo, about 100,000 light years in diameter.

The formation of the spiral arm starts with the galactic nucleus, there are countless galaxies in the universe, and there are obvious differences between different galaxies, for example, some galaxies with a galactic nucleus, while some do not, while a galaxy with a galactic nucleus and another galaxy, and the speed between each other close, it is easy to swallow phenomenon, and then form a new large galaxy.

In this process, the galaxy nuclei are spinning around each other and increase their rotation speed, and the nucleus at high rotation speed is equivalent to a dynamo, capable of generating a large stream of particles from both directions. In general, the higher the energy of the galactic nucleus, the faster the flow of particles and the longer the distance of the jet.

However, during the jet stream, the energy of the galactic nucleus itself is consumed and can only be replenished after capturing other galaxies. When the energy changes from high to low, two jet bands are formed, and if the magnetic axis starts to rotate around the rotation axis, the jet orbit will bend and evolve into a spiral arm.

Milky Way Galaxy

Causes of broken galactic spiral arms

The recently discovered broken spiral arm is the Sagittarius spiral arm, in which scientists found a spiral in the Sagittarius arm after creating the overall outline of the Milky Way through network technology simulations. The spiral has a pitch angle of about 12 degrees, and the main component of the fracture is a star, which protrudes at an angle of 60 degrees and looks like a stick stuck across the middle.

After numerous discussions about the cause of the breakup of the galactic spiral arm, scientists speculate that it may be caused by the expansion of the universe.

In the early 1900s, a physicist was studying the Andromeda galaxy when he happened to notice a red shift in its spectrum and came up with the idea that the universe was expanding. Subsequently, many scientists conducted their experiments to confirm this fact.

Because of the expansion of the universe, the diameter of the Milky Way is not constant but will continue to grow larger over time, and the gravitational force of other objects will become smaller.

But if the spiral arms of the Milky Way are breaking off due to the expansion of the universe, then this phenomenon should be common in the Milky Way, so why is the Milky Way still stable?

Scientists believe that this is due to the dark matter contained in the universe, which accounts for about 90% of the total mass and does not react with other matter, a quality that gives it a mysterious character that until now has not been able to capture its existence.

What are the effects of a broken galactic arm?

In general, when a galactic arm breaks, the most obvious sign is that the star does not follow its normal orbit, but gradually drifts and begins a journey of "escape".

However, if only one star is "escaping", the arm will not break, but only if several stars are shifting together, which would cause the arm to break, like a machine "disintegrating", as is the case with many stars in the Sagittarius arm. At this stage, many stars in the Sagittarius spiral arm are in such a state.

According to the observations, the fractured Sagittarius arms are starting to change vertically from the fractured part to the fractured part, and the fractured group of stars is still maintaining its rotation speed and direction, suggesting that a gravitational force is acting on them, which is causing such a consistent deflection.

But the galactic spiral arms themselves are not eternal, the stars that make them up are constantly changing, and the expansion of the universe makes them unstable.

The main component of the spiral arm is interstellar matter, but because of the huge amount of dark matter in the universe, there is also a lot of dark matter mixed in it, which completes the pulling and arranging process together with the interstellar matter.

Therefore, after the Sagittarius spiral arm breaks, its arrangement is bound to change, which may lead to the misalignment of the original distribution of other stars in the galaxy and change the gravitational force.

However, many stars die under the gravitational influence of dark matter, often with a big explosion, forming white dwarfs or neutron stars, and possibly black holes, so the breakage of the galactic arms is not so big that it will affect the galaxy too much, and there is no need to worry about the disintegration of the galaxy.

In short, the importance of the spiral arms of the Milky Way as a component of the galaxy is beyond doubt. The reason for the breakage is due to the expansion of the universe and the effects of gravity, and although the broken spiral arms may look a bit abrupt, they will not have serious effects, let alone lead to the disintegration of the Milky Way.

As senior creatures on Earth, humans have been exploring the universe for a long time, and although there are still many mysteries, a short period from Earth to the universe, has been a great achievement.

In the future, with the further improvement of technology, perhaps the mysterious dark matter will also be unveiled, at that time the human understanding of the universe will be more comprehensive.


About the Creator


The most charming woman I've ever met.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.