ANSWERS: 3
  • I didn't know there was a warp. Do you mean when you look up in the sky and there's the region in the middle that's dark? That's dark because the light behind is blocked by huge amounts of dust.
  • Well, you do realize that you can't actually take pictures of the milky way from anywhere except Earth. We can't send cameras far enough away to take pictures of it from anywhere else really. So the pictures taken from hubble of the center of our galaxy are actually just more detailed versions of what we see from Earth (which is within one of the arms of the milky way). Either that or their artists renderings of what we think our galaxy would look like from afar. But at any rate the warp in the middle is due to the higher concentration of matter there. What's really more interesting is why we have the disc at all instead of everything just clumping together in one big huge ball. It's a really complicated topic that I don't think I could explain very well. Check out this link: http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/ast123/lectures/lec25.html
  • "We often think of the warp as being static, but this simulation shows that it is very dynamic," said Leo Blitz, an astronomer from UC Berkeley who was involved in the study. The model indicates that as the Magellanic Clouds interact with dark matter, they create vibrations that cause the Milky Way's hydrogen disk to oscillate. The overall effect is reminiscent of the edges of a tablecloth flapping in the wind, the researchers said. http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060109_milkyway_warp.html

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