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Unexpected stellar velocity distribution in the warped Galactic disk

Unexpected stellar velocity distribution in the warped Galactic disk

Publication date: 03 April 1998

Authors: Smart, R. L., et al.

Journal: Nature
Volume: 392
Page: 471-473
Year: 1998

Copyright: Nature Publishing

It is now over 40 years since the gaseous disc of our galaxy was discovered to be warped from radio observations of neutral hydrogen [1]. Subsequently the warp has been detected in the distribution of galactic dust [2], molecular clouds [3], and luminous stars [4,5]. Roughly half of all spiral galaxies have similarly warped discs, which suggests that warps are common and long-lived phenomenon. However, there is still no consensus as to what induces galactic discs to become warped: intergalactic winds, tidal interactions with satellites, magnetic pressure and massive dark halos have all been proposed as causative agents. Here we use data from the Hipparcos satllite [6] to probe the Milky Way's warp.

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