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Science. 2019 Aug 2;365(6452):478-482. doi: 10.1126/science.aau3181.

A three-dimensional map of the Milky Way using classical Cepheid variable stars.

Author information

1
Astronomical Observatory, University of Warsaw, 00-478 Warsaw, Poland. dszczyg@astrouw.edu.pl udalski@astrouw.edu.pl.
2
Astronomical Observatory, University of Warsaw, 00-478 Warsaw, Poland.
3
Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
4
Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK.

Abstract

The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy, with physical properties inferred from various tracers informed by the extrapolation of structures seen in other galaxies. However, the distances of these tracers are measured indirectly and are model-dependent. We constructed a map of the Milky Way in three dimensions, based on the positions and distances of thousands of classical Cepheid variable stars. This map shows the structure of our Galaxy's young stellar population and allows us to constrain the warped shape of the Milky Way's disk. A simple model of star formation in the spiral arms reproduces the observed distribution of Cepheids.

PMID:
31371611
DOI:
10.1126/science.aau3181

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