Astrophysicist Use New Measurements To Calculate The Mass Of The Milky Way
According to astrophysicist Gwendolyn Eadie, whose research is currently being peer-reviewed for publication, has determined that the Milky Way has the same mass as 700 billion Suns. “And our galaxy isn’t even the biggest galaxy.”
Eadie, a PhD student from McMaster University in Canada, explained “Understanding our galaxy’s mass puts it into a better cosmological context. People who study the evolution of galaxies look at how the mass relates to its evolution. If we have a better handle on what the mass of the Milky Way is, we can understand how it and other galaxies form and evolve.”
Together with fellow researcher and supervisor William Harris, Eadie devised a new way for calculating the movement and velocity of globular clusters of spherical groups of stars that act like satellites, orbiting the galactic core.
The new technique provides what the researchers think is the most accurate estimation yet of the total galactic mass.
Eadie also points out “We can also compare the total mass estimate to the amount of visible matter that we see in the Milky Way and then get a prediction for the amount of dark matter. With our estimate, it seems that dark matter makes up about 88 percent of the Milky Way’s mass.”