Business & Economy

Experts calculate Milky Way mass as lighter than believed

Beijing, Oct 5 (EFE).- A group of Chinese and international scientists have calculated the mass of the Milky Way, which they estimate to be about 550,000 million times greater than that of the Sun, the state agency Xinhua reported Wednesday.

The data released by the investigation is half of the estimate by other previous studies, which placed the mass of the galaxy at approximately 1 trillion times greater than that of the Sun, the agency’s office said.

The mass of the Sun is a standard unit in astronomy and is frequently used to indicate the mass of other celestial bodies.

The research was recently published by the scientific journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society of London.

“Our calculations suggest that the Milky Way is lighter than previously thought,” said Xue Xiangxiang, a member of the science team, adding that the finding means “there is much less gravitational dark matter” in the galaxy that hosts our Solar system.

According to Xue, although the mass of the Milky Way is “key” to understanding the dynamics of our galaxy, there has been great “uncertainty” in calculating it due to “limited observations.”

The scientists relied on data collected by the Chinese LAMOST telescope and the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite. EFE


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