The mysteries of space are the worst kind. And this is mainly because we are currently not very able to take a closer look to find out exactly what they’re all about. One of those interesting mysteries is the phenomenon of the high-velocity clouds. They can be found in the halo of the Milky Way and are huge, gas-filled clouds, moving at amazing speeds. At the moment, we don’t know much abut them, but we soon might, thanks to a highly-detailed map which a team of scientists recently built.
This interesting map is using radio telescope date and it displays the filaments, the branches and the clumps inside those clouds. According to the astronomer who created this map, Tobias Westmeier, this is a new way of providing valuable clues about the origins of these clouds and their composition. It’s true that their presence has been noticed for a while, but experts have never actually come up with an explanation for them.
The mysterious high-velocity clouds phenomenon
According to what astronomers know about these clouds, they are enormous, a few million times larger than the Sun, and have over 80,000 light-years in diameter. They also move incredibly fast around the galactic halo of the Milky Way. They also move independently and are distinguishable from the normal movement of the galaxy. These clouds stand out.
But where did they come from? There are some theories about their origins. Some say they could simply be pieces of material falling from outside into our galaxy. Also, leftover material from the formation of the galaxy or which has escaped from the interior of the galaxy.
Also, it’s worth noting that each cloud has its own composition which point toward them also having different origin places. The map which the scientists designed is free to study here, for anyone interested. Also, the paper on this subject that the team has published can be read here.
Image source: pxhere