NASA explains how spiral galaxies get their shape

NASA explains how spiral galaxies get their shape


NASA shared an amazing photo of the galaxy named M77 on Instagram and briefly explained how it was “shaped”. For a long time, the shapes of many galaxies, including our own Milky Way, have plagued many scientists.

The Milky Way is spiral-shaped, and its arms are full of stars. However, have you ever wondered how it was formed? Well, this is a problem that has plagued scientists for a long time. In its new post, the space agency explains how the magnetic field plays a huge role in shaping various galaxies.

This article is based on research conducted by NASA’s Stratospheric Infrared Astronomical Observatory or SOFIA Telescope. In the title, NASA stated that “spiral galaxies like the Milky Way are shaped by magnetic fields” and “invisible to the human eye”.

But by combining images from the Space Agency’s Hubble Space Telescope, the Nuclear Spectroscopy Array, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, these magnetic fields become clearer.

Describing the post on Instagram, NASA states, “In this image, scientists measured the magnetic fields along the spiral arms of a galaxy called M77. The fields are shown as streamlines that closely follow the circling arms. The magnetic fields align along the entire length of the massive spiral arms — 24,000 light years across — implying that the gravitational forces that created the galaxy’s shape are also compressing its magnetic field.”

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