Monday, June 17, 2024

Unprecedented Details: What is in Between the Stars? Well it’s Not Empty

The vast space between billions of stars in the Milky Way is not empty but mostly filled with dust and gas that people call the interstellar medium (ISM).

Using the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), Chinese scientists revealed the unprecedented details of the Galactic interstellar medium.

Though the fine calibration is still underway, the results available are already the most sensitive for detecting neutral hydrogen gas clouds to date, showing unprecedented details about the distribution of neutral hydrogen gas.

The research team has also revealed the luminous regions ionized by bright stars and the diffuse ionized gas of unknown origin.

Compared to all previous surveys, the improvement in angular resolution and sensitivity in the survey conducted by Chinese scientist Han Jinlin’s team is “impressive,” said John M. Dickey, emeritus professor with the University of Tasmania in Australia and the University of Minnesota in the United States, adding that the results are worthy of international attention.

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