A number of astronomers have been successfully able to identify the three-dimensional structure of the Musca (The Fly Constellation) interstellar clouds (one of the sites where new stars form), which resides at approximately 150 parsecs from Earth, nearly 500 light years, in accordance with a scientific paper issued in the journal Science.
This discovery not only unveils the exact construction of this interstellar cloud, contrary to prior hypotheses, which, as the authors say, is shaped as a pancake rather than a needle. Also, this study may help researchers to have a better insight into the astronomical evolution of these celestial bodies.
Reconstructing Musca’s interstellar gas pattern has been a huge achievement for astronomers, as interstellar clouds are only seen as two-dimensional projections.
Two astronomers from the University Of Crete, in Greece, namely, Konstantinos Tassis and Aris Tritsis, were capable of rebuilding the full three-dimensional shape of Musca interstellar gas through the ridges produced by the so-called longitudinal magnetic pressure waves.
Interstellar clouds are looking like a pancake, instead of being long and narrow as previously thought
Based on the three-dimensional re-creation, the scientists were capable of measuring the thickness of the cloud and realized that, given its currently established design geometry, Musca can be applied to test hypothetical models of other interstellar clouds.
In examining the frequencies of these magnetic waves, the researchers created a model of the cloud which illustrates that Musca’s interstellar cloud is not a long, narrow thread, as was previously assumed, but a broad pattern in the shape of a pancake.
Based on what they have discovered, Tritsis and Tassis consider that their model will allow astronomers to understand what defines the quantity and the nature of the stars of our galaxy, the Milky Way.
Furthermore, the finding that interstellar clouds are more like a pancake and not like needles is relevant precisely because it is essential for a better insight into the events that are taking place inside interstellar clouds.