The Hubble Telescope had amused people for years. Studies showed that the Andromeda Galaxy is two to three times larger than our ‘Milky Way’ galaxy. But the latest findings unveiled recently had tarnished the old ‘assumptions’ giving way to more accurate data. The scientists at International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research based in Western Australia used the latest equipment and sophisticated algorithms. The study found out that the Andromeda Galaxy’ size equals to our own ‘Milky Way’ galaxy. After accurately measuring the “escape velocity” of a rocket, the researchers said that the earlier findings were overestimated and new results are totally contrasting.
The Study –
Dr. Prajwal Kafle, an Astrophysicist at the ICRAR and his team accurately measured the speed of a rocket to escape the gravitational pull of any galaxy. It was found out that concerning the Earth’s gravitational pull, it would take a rocket or any object the speed of 11 km/s to escape its pull. Fast forward to the algorithm used for to escape the Milky Way Galaxy, it is estimated that a rocket will require an escape speed of 550 km/s to escape the gravitational pull, Phys.org reported.
Earlier, Andromeda Galaxy was anticipated to engulf entire Milky Way due to its massive and colossal size i.e. 2 to 3 times than the size of our galaxy in about 5 billion years. However, with the latest data fed onto simulators prepared by ICRAR, the Milky Way, and the Andromeda Galaxy are supposed to collide and bind together and not being engulfed by the latter. Because of the conclusion that Andromeda is actually similar to the size of the Milky Way. Science Alert stated in its post stating that the neighboring galaxy is about 2.5 million light-years away from the Milky Way and belongs to a segment called ‘Local Group’ which encapsulates 30 other galaxies.
Soon after the discovery, Dr. Kalfe further said: “It completely transforms our understanding of the local group”. Dr. Kalfe and his team stated that the mass of the Milky Way is more than trillion times than the mass of Earth which means, it would consume 550 km/s of escape speed to pave the path and escape through Milky Way. The team released the estimates of 470 ± 40 km/s as escape speed of the Andromeda Galaxy. The team reached the conclusion after practicing the technique on the movement of high-velocity planetary nebulae within the galaxy.
To Conclude –
The research has busted the fact that Andromeda Galaxy is two to three times larger than Milky Way. The data reveals that the dark matter calculated of our neighbor is, in fact, third of its original value. This further leads to the conclusion that the mass of Andromeda is 800 times heavier than Sun, New Atlas quoted. The entire research has put the research of more 50 years into question. Dr. Kalfe and his team published their research in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society”.