It seems like the halo that surrounds the Milky Way is much hotter than we once believed. However, it may not be unique.
We found out about the new details at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society, which was held online this week. Researchers at the Ohio State University have found out that parts of the Milky Way’s halo – the gas, the dust, and the dark matter which surrounds the galaxies – was ten times hotter than anyone had believed before.
The extreme temperatures are in the entire halo
This new research has actually suggested that the extreme temperatures which were found in the original analysis – of up to 10 million degrees Kelvin (18 million degrees Fahrenheit) – can actually be found in the entire halo.
According to scientists, “We can’t say for sure that it is everywhere, because we have not analyzed the entire halo. But we know now that the temperatures we saw in the first study definitely are not unique, and that is very exciting. We are trying to learn about the elements that form these halos, and about the temperatures there. Knowing those things can help us understand more about how galaxies connect with the rest of the universe and how they formed and where elements might have come from.”
By learning more about the holo, which is actually the final link between the universe and the galaxy, could help researchers to understand better how the galaxy grows and how it changes in time.
The data that they have analyzed comes from an X-ray observatory telescope from the European space agency. We’re talking about XMM-Newton, which gathers data in X-rays, thing that would actually be not possible otherwise, because it is blocked by Earth’s atmosphere.