Astronomers have found a clever way to weigh all the stuff in our galaxy
If you can accurately weigh the galaxy, you will be able to estimate the weight of the universe, and this is the key to many important studies. But how to measure the weight of the whole matter, at least in the native Milky Way? Previous methods only quarreled astrophysicists among themselves due to the incredible scatter of answers, but now a new method is found that satisfies all.
The weight of a galaxy can be measured through the gravitational effect that this colossal cosmic body creates. If we assume that the galaxy is a homogeneous object, a source of stable gravitational pull, then we can measure it through an analysis of the behavior of tracers. This is what “fragments” of the former worlds are called, which were not part of the galaxies, but are attracted to them due to gravitational influence. This is how to measure the speed of a shark through the maneuvers of fish moving behind it-it stuck.
The problem is that all tracers are different in size and weight, they have any orbits, and previous estimates of the weight of the galaxy gave a spread of 0.7 to 2 trillion solar masses. The new method is based on the measurement of the angular momentum of the tracers, which characterizes their elliptical flight through space in accordance with the impact of the gravity of the Milky Way.
The method formed the basis for a large model of activity in the universe around the Milky Way during the last 2 billion years. And it allowed us to calculate the mass of our galaxy as 960 billion solar masses. This corresponds to approximately 50% of all past assessments, and this result was accepted by the scientific community. The next step in computing is to weigh the entire universe!