The Milky Way’s shape is a disk … with a twist.
New research finds that at the edges of the galaxy, where the pull of gravity weakens, the shape of the Milky Way warps. Instead of lying in a flat plane, the galaxy takes on a bit of a twisted “S” shape.
“This new morphology provides a crucial updated map for studies of our galaxy’s stellar motions and the origins of the Milky Way’s disk,” study co-author Licai Deng, a senior researcher at the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in a statement. [11 Fascinating Facts About Our Milky Way Galaxy.