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Galactic thick discs bursting onto the scene

19 Apr 2021, 11:00 UTC
Galactic thick discs bursting onto the scene
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Title: The bursty origin of the Milky Way thick discAuthors: Sijie Yu, James S. Bullock, Courtney Klein, Jonathan Stern, Andrew Wetzel, Xiangcheng Ma, Jorge Moreno, Zachary Hafen, Alexander B. Gurvich, Philip F. Hopkins, Dušan Kereš, Claude-André Faucher-Giguère, Robert Feldmann, Eliot QuataertFirst Author’s Institution: Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California Irvine, CA, USAStatus: Submitted to MNRAS, available on arXivWhen you think about galaxies, it’s quite likely that the first picture that enters your head is one of a beautiful spiral galaxy, with spiral arms snaking out from its centre, embedded in a disc of gas and stars. These galaxies are fairly common across the Universe, but their structure is more complex than first meets the eye. Most spiral galaxies have two main components. At the centre of each spiral galaxy lies a central “bulge” of stars, a roughly spherical region of tightly-packed stars. This is surrounded by a “disc”, a flat, circular region containing stars, gas and dust. In recent years though, it has become apparent that the disc of a spiral galaxy can be broken down into two more components: a “thick disc”, and an enclosed “thin disc”. Figure 1 shows a diagram of these components: the thick ...

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