Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Milky Way Heavier And Faster Than Originally Thought

New reports coming out of the American Astronomical Society's conference in Long Beach, CA this week indicates that our galaxy is spinning significantly faster than first thought.

It turns out that our solar system is moving nearly 100,000 miles an hour faster than previously thought — revolving around the center of the Milky Way at 568,000 miles an hour, Mark Reid of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced Monday at the American Astronomical Society's conference in Long Beach, Calif. Since velocity is related to mass, the 15% increase in solar-system speed translates into a near doubling of mass of the Milky Way, according to Reid's group — and all of that newfound bulk is composed of dark matter.

So the Milky Way might be a twin of Andromeda, eh? Nice to know that we have a sibling that close.


1 comment:

Anaconda said...

Just a thought, doesn't this increased speed of rotation suggest that mass calculations are in error because mass may not be the "driving force" that determines the speed of rotation?

The reaction to this new piece of data -- plug in a bigger "black hole."