New research indicates that a highly odd structure has been discovered in the outer parts of our Milky Way galaxy.
The research, which has been published for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, describes Cattail, a gas filament that “appears to be the furthest and biggest massive filament in the galaxy so far,” according to a team of astronomers from Nanjing University.
Astronomers have yet to determine the origin of this huge gas filament, although theory suggests that it is a previously undetected segment of a spiral arm.
Alternately, Cattail might be part of a new arm, however, it is confusing because the structure does not completely follow the warp of the galactic disc.
The team of astronomers behind the study employed the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) to look for neutral atomic hydrogen-containing clouds.
By examining the very delicate patterns of hydrogen light, astronomers are able to pinpoint the location of the spiral arms of the Milky Way.
The discovery of this strange and massive gas filament will help astronomers better understand our galaxy but as of now Cattail remains a mystery to astronomers from several angles for example where did it initially came from and why is it so massive.