The earth is not where we thought it was in space, according to new research. That's what astronomers, who have redrawn the map of the Milky Way from new data and observations, have realized.
Not quite where we thought
One of the most important things in science is the acknowledgement of our own ignorance. This allows scientists to recognize that something is wrong - even if it is of their own authorship. Thus, scholars can open their minds to new possibilities, then come up with corrections or improvements to theories.
Following this principle, scientists saw that the map of our Milky Way made decades ago was not so correct. Recent studies and observations allowed the construction of the best map of the Milky Way ever made.
Based on new observations and the first Astrometry catalogue, astronomers have recreated the new map of the Milky Way and calculated the position of the galactic center. To do this, several projects involving advanced telescopes were used to achieve an unprecedented amount of observation time. In all, there are five thousand hours of galactic records to give us a new andenhanced from our galaxy.
According to the map, the Solar System isn't quite where we thought it was. It's actually closer to the galactic center - where, incidentally, a supermassive black hole lies.
But there is no cause for concern. We are not moving toward the center, and even if we did, it would be on a scale of millions of years.
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The error in the survey shows that it is really tricky to map a galaxy in three dimensions. It is easier to map the two-dimensional coordinates of stars (individually) than to measure the distances between them.
A good recent example of this is the case of the red giant star Betelgeuse. With new studies, it turned out to be closer to Earth than previous measurements suggested.
The science that deals with calculations of distances between galaxies and cosmic objects is called Astrometry; little by little, it advances from new technologies and techniques that emerge.
Astrometry relies on radio astronomy surveys, such as the VERA survey, which is of Japanese origin, using several radio telescopes throughout the Japanese archipelago, combining data to achieve the same resolution as a 2,300-kilometer telescope.
To some people, the change may even seem irrelevant, but it impacts our measurements and interpretations of the galactic center. Studying it can help us better understand the universe and our own galaxy.
SEE MORE: Red giant Betelgeuse is closer than previously believed
With information from Science Alert