By analyzing data received from the Gaia mission and the Hubble space telescope, astronomers have made calculations and estimated that our galaxy weighed nearly 1500 billion solar masses.
Scientists from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have calculated that our galaxy will weigh about 1500 billion solar masses.
According to them, this weight includes all stars, planets, dust and gas, as well as a super heavy black hole. They based their calculations on data received from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gaia Mission.
The presence of dark matter in our universe has so far been only indirectly observed by the gravitational effects and its nature remains one of the greatest mysteries of modern physics, AFP recalls.
To measure the weight of the Milky Way, the researchers calculated the velocities of different spherical star clusters. These are dense stars that revolve around the spiral disk of the galaxy.
"The more massive a galaxy, the faster the clusters move under the influence of gravity, and thanks to the previous measurements, we have been able to determine the speed at which a cluster approaches or moves away from the Earth." However, we were also able to speed and thus the weight of the galaxy, "said Wyn Evans of Cambridge University.
Astronomers have also recognized that without the data from these two telescopes, including the Gaia measurements of 34 globular star clusters and those of 12 further from Hubble, it would not be possible to determine the mass of the Milky Way.
"You can not measure exactly what you can not see!" Added Laura Watkins from the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
Scientists are still trying to define the mass of the Milky Way, the previous estimates varied from 500 billion to 3,000 billion times the mass of the sun, AFP writes.