APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

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APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:08 am

Image Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way

Explanation: What role do magnetic fields play in interstellar physics? Analyses of observations by ESA's Planck satellite of emission by small magnetically-aligned dust grains reveal previously unknown magnetic field structures in our Milky Way Galaxy -- as shown by the curvy lines in the featured full-sky image. The dark red shows the plane of the Milky Way, where the concentration of dust is the highest. The huge arches above the plane are likely remnants of past explosive events from our Galaxy's core, conceptually similar to magnetic loop-like structures seen in our Sun's atmosphere. The curvy streamlines align with interstellar filaments of neutral hydrogen gas and provide tantalizing evidence that magnetic fields may supplement gravity in not only in shaping the interstellar medium, but in forming stars. How magnetism affected our Galaxy's evolution will likely remain a topic of research for years to come.

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by scr33d » Wed Jun 17, 2020 5:25 am

I'll have to dig into my old E&M and MHD textbooks to understand from first-principle how magnetic field lines can stretch 100's of kiloparsecs...

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by Ann » Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:24 am

Click to play embedded YouTube video.













Can't resist comparing the magnetism of our rotating disk of a galaxy with the magnetism of our rotating sphere of the Sun.

So how far into space does our galaxy's magnetic field lines extend? Can Andromeda "feel" them? And can we feel Andromeda?

What part, if any, does magnetism play in galactic clusters like the Virgo cluster?

And by any chance, does magnetism play any sort of global role in the Universe? Particularly if the Universe actually happens to be spinning?

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by Case » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:17 am

Can't resist comparing the magnetic streamlines of the Milky Way with the post-impressionist swirly painting style of Van Gogh.

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:12 pm

Highways to heaven?
PolarisedMilkyWay_Planck_1080.jpg
Fantizing!!!! :mrgreen:
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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by dkklein » Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:13 pm

I was thinking the same thing.

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by johnnydeep » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:52 pm

Case wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:17 am
Can't resist comparing the magnetic streamlines of the Milky Way with the post-impressionist swirly painting style of Van Gogh.
Yup. When I first opened this APOD, I thought oh no, another "artist's interpretation". Imagine my surprise when I read that it was a real image!
"To Boldly Go......Beyond The Fields We Know."

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by johnnydeep » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:59 pm

APOD Robot wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:08 am
Image Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way

Explanation: What role do magnetic fields play in interstellar physics? Analyses of observations by ESA's Planck satellite of emission by small magnetically-aligned dust grains reveal previously unknown magnetic field structures in our Milky Way Galaxy -- as shown by the curvy lines in the featured full-sky image. The dark red shows the plane of the Milky Way, where the concentration of dust is the highest. The huge arches above the plane are likely remnants of past explosive events from our Galaxy's core, conceptually similar to magnetic loop-like structures seen in our Sun's atmosphere. The curvy streamlines align with interstellar filaments of neutral hydrogen gas and provide tantalizing evidence that magnetic fields may supplement gravity in not only in shaping the interstellar medium, but in forming stars. How magnetism affected our Galaxy's evolution will likely remain a topic of research for years to come.

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So the text says the image is of dust that is aligning with magnetic field lines in the milky way. The obvious question is what's causing the field lines in the first place? Is it "just" ionized interstellar gas that is in motion? And since electromagnetism is so much stronger than gravity, could it be that gravity is actually the less dominant force governing the evolution of galaxies and stars?!
"To Boldly Go......Beyond The Fields We Know."

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by johnnydeep » Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:06 pm

Ann wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:24 am

And by any chance, does magnetism play any sort of global role in the Universe? Particularly if the Universe actually happens to be spinning?

Ann
That youtuber sure produces a lot of videos! I watch him occasionally. In this video he talks about a 1% preference for galaxies spinning either clockwise or counterclockwise depending on direction. But as for the entire universe spinning, I'm not sure what that means. If we use the 2-D universe on the surface of a 3-D balloon analogy, how would the spinning be done? You could pick a 3-D spin axis through the center of the balloon, but that would mean that two places in the 2-D surface would be the "poles". Is that really what's being considered?
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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:07 pm

johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:59 pm
APOD Robot wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:08 am
Image Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way

Explanation: What role do magnetic fields play in interstellar physics? Analyses of observations by ESA's Planck satellite of emission by small magnetically-aligned dust grains reveal previously unknown magnetic field structures in our Milky Way Galaxy -- as shown by the curvy lines in the featured full-sky image. The dark red shows the plane of the Milky Way, where the concentration of dust is the highest. The huge arches above the plane are likely remnants of past explosive events from our Galaxy's core, conceptually similar to magnetic loop-like structures seen in our Sun's atmosphere. The curvy streamlines align with interstellar filaments of neutral hydrogen gas and provide tantalizing evidence that magnetic fields may supplement gravity in not only in shaping the interstellar medium, but in forming stars. How magnetism affected our Galaxy's evolution will likely remain a topic of research for years to come.

<< Previous APOD This Day in APOD Next APOD >>
So the text says the image is of dust that is aligning with magnetic field lines in the milky way. The obvious question is what's causing the field lines in the first place? Is it "just" ionized interstellar gas that is in motion? And since electromagnetism is so much stronger than gravity, could it be that gravity is actually the less dominant force governing the evolution of galaxies and stars?!
There is no evidence that magnetic fields like this play any role in the formation of stars. But they may form paths that over long periods influence the movement of dust and gas, and therefore affect where stars form and a degree of large scale structure. At the scale of stellar systems, gravity exerts much larger forces than electromagnetism. The fields we see in this image are incredibly weak.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by Phobos1 » Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:01 pm

Looks a lot like van Gogh redid "Streaming through the Universe": https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090906.html

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by aboo » Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:23 pm

Case wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:17 am
Can't resist comparing the magnetic streamlines of the Milky Way with the post-impressionist swirly painting style of Van Gogh.
:ssmile: Exactly my thoughts!

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by dergolem » Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:53 pm

Science shows us the connections between the very large and the very small.
The whorls and eddies in today's image are visible in my fingerprint.
I am humbled.

Avalon

Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by Avalon » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:34 pm

johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:06 pm
Ann wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:24 am

And by any chance, does magnetism play any sort of global role in the Universe? Particularly if the Universe actually happens to be spinning?

Ann
That youtuber sure produces a lot of videos! I watch him occasionally. In this video he talks about a 1% preference for galaxies spinning either clockwise or counterclockwise depending on direction. But as for the entire universe spinning, I'm not sure what that means. If we use the 2-D universe on the surface of a 3-D balloon analogy, how would the spinning be done? You could pick a 3-D spin axis through the center of the balloon, but that would mean that two places in the 2-D surface would be the "poles". Is that really what's being considered?
Wouldn't all spinning objects be spinning "clockwise" or "counterclockwise" depending on whether you're viewing it from "above" or "below"?

Second question, is there a way to see in which direction these magnetic streamlines are flowing?

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by sp0ck » Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:03 pm

johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:52 pm
Case wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:17 am
Can't resist comparing the magnetic streamlines of the Milky Way with the post-impressionist swirly painting style of Van Gogh.
Yup. When I first opened this APOD, I thought oh no, another "artist's interpretation". Imagine my surprise when I read that it was a real image!
Perhaps Van Gogh was very in touch with the universe? :shock:
Either that, he was shown the APOD image by visiting aliens. The latter could be plausible; Starry Night was painted during his stay at an asylum. :mrgreen:

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by johnnydeep » Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:46 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:07 pm
There is no evidence that magnetic fields like this play any role in the formation of stars. But they may form paths that over long periods influence the movement of dust and gas, and therefore affect where stars form and a degree of large scale structure. At the scale of stellar systems, gravity exerts much larger forces than electromagnetism. The fields we see in this image are incredibly weak.
I suppose you must be right, but I'm having a hard time convincing myself. Electromagnetism is something like 1037 times stronger than gravity, and both have infinite range. Why then is gravity seen to be dominant over huge distances? Is it because there are so few charged particles relative to particles with mass?
"To Boldly Go......Beyond The Fields We Know."

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by johnnydeep » Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:14 pm

Avalon wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:34 pm
johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:06 pm
That youtuber sure produces a lot of videos! I watch him occasionally. In this video he talks about a 1% preference for galaxies spinning either clockwise or counterclockwise depending on direction. But as for the entire universe spinning, I'm not sure what that means. If we use the 2-D universe on the surface of a 3-D balloon analogy, how would the spinning be done? You could pick a 3-D spin axis through the center of the balloon, but that would mean that two places in the 2-D surface would be the "poles". Is that really what's being considered?
Wouldn't all spinning objects be spinning "clockwise" or "counterclockwise" depending on whether you're viewing it from "above" or "below"?

Second question, is there a way to see in which direction these magnetic streamlines are flowing?
Yes, the spin depends on orientation of the observer, but for our perspective, it was found that there are statistically significant variations in how many galaxies spin clockwise compared to how many spin counterclockwise depending on the direction we look, when, base on pure chance, we would expect there to be no difference.

As for your second question, I don't know. Do magnetic field lines actually flow? Particles following them can of course, and the magnetic field lines can fluctuate geometrically depending on what's happening to their source, but the field lines themselves don't flow (other than travelling at the speed of light I suppose). But maybe you were simply talking about the dust following the field lines, in which case you might be able to detect doppler shifts of the emissions of the dust particles and thereby determine movement. And now that I think about it, I'm not sure now what the color differences in the original APOD image actually represent. All we can ever see are spectra from anything we look at, so it would seem that shifted spectra is already what's being shown as color differences.
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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:44 am

johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:46 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:07 pm
There is no evidence that magnetic fields like this play any role in the formation of stars. But they may form paths that over long periods influence the movement of dust and gas, and therefore affect where stars form and a degree of large scale structure. At the scale of stellar systems, gravity exerts much larger forces than electromagnetism. The fields we see in this image are incredibly weak.
I suppose you must be right, but I'm having a hard time convincing myself. Electromagnetism is something like 1037 times stronger than gravity, and both have infinite range. Why then is gravity seen to be dominant over huge distances? Is it because there are so few charged particles relative to particles with mass?
Gravity is dominant at large ranges for several reasons. Gravity is always attractive, so gravitational force grows with all masses, whereas electromagnetic force can be attractive or repulsive. There seems to be a universal balance of positive and negative charges, which attract and tend to cancel each other out, thus rendering bulk objects with little or no difference in charge over time.
Just as zero is not equal to infinity, everything coming from nothing is illogical.

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:12 am

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:44 am
johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:46 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:07 pm
There is no evidence that magnetic fields like this play any role in the formation of stars. But they may form paths that over long periods influence the movement of dust and gas, and therefore affect where stars form and a degree of large scale structure. At the scale of stellar systems, gravity exerts much larger forces than electromagnetism. The fields we see in this image are incredibly weak.
I suppose you must be right, but I'm having a hard time convincing myself. Electromagnetism is something like 1037 times stronger than gravity, and both have infinite range. Why then is gravity seen to be dominant over huge distances? Is it because there are so few charged particles relative to particles with mass?
Gravity is dominant at large ranges for several reasons. Gravity is always attractive, so gravitational force grows with all masses, whereas electromagnetic force can be attractive or repulsive. There seems to be a universal balance of positive and negative charges, which attract and tend to cancel each other out, thus rendering bulk objects with little or no difference in charge over time.
There's also the fact that the actual values of charges are very, very small compared with the actual values of masses.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by neufer » Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:53 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:07 pm

There is no evidence that magnetic fields like this play any role in the formation of stars. But they may form paths that over long periods influence the movement of dust and gas, and therefore affect where stars form and a degree of large scale structure. At the scale of stellar systems, gravity exerts much larger forces than electromagnetism. The fields we see in this image are incredibly weak.
  • No star could form without first dissipating a great deal of angular momentum through electromagnetism:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbig%E2%80%93Haro_object wrote:
<<Herbig–Haro (HH) objects are bright patches of nebulosity associated with newborn stars. They are formed when narrow jets of partially ionised gas ejected by stars collide with nearby clouds of gas and dust at several hundred kilometres per second. Herbig–Haro objects are commonly found in star-forming regions, and several are often seen around a single star, aligned with its rotational axis. Most of them lie within about one parsec (3.26 light-years) of the source, although some have been observed several parsecs away. HH objects are transient phenomena that last around a few tens of thousands of years. They can change visibly over timescales of a few years as they move rapidly away from their parent star into the gas clouds of interstellar space (the interstellar medium or ISM). Hubble Space Telescope observations have revealed the complex evolution of HH objects over the period of a few years, as parts of the nebula fade while others brighten as they collide with the clumpy material of the interstellar medium.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H_II_region wrote:
<<An HII region or HII region is a region of interstellar atomic hydrogen that is ionized. It is typically a cloud of partially ionized gas in which star formation has recently taken place, with a size ranging from one to hundreds of light years, and density from a few to about a million particles per cubic cm. The Orion Nebula, now known to be an HII region, was observed in 1610 by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc by telescope, the first such object discovered.

The precursor to an HII region is a giant molecular cloud (GMC). A GMC is a cold (10–20 K) and dense cloud consisting mostly of molecular hydrogen. GMCs can exist in a stable state for long periods of time, but shock waves due to supernovae, collisions between clouds, and magnetic interactions can trigger its collapse. When this happens, via a process of collapse and fragmentation of the cloud, stars are born (see stellar evolution for a lengthier description).

As stars are born within a GMC, the most massive will reach temperatures hot enough to ionise the surrounding gas. Soon after the formation of an ionising radiation field, energetic photons create an ionisation front, which sweeps through the surrounding gas at supersonic speeds. At greater and greater distances from the ionising star, the ionisation front slows, while the pressure of the newly ionised gas causes the ionised volume to expand. Eventually, the ionisation front slows to subsonic speeds, and is overtaken by the shock front caused by the expansion of the material ejected from the nebula. The HII region has been born.

The lifetime of an HII region is of the order of a few million years. Radiation pressure from the hot young stars will eventually drive most of the gas away. In fact, the whole process tends to be very inefficient, with less than 10 percent of the gas in the HII region forming into stars before the rest is blown off. Contributing to the loss of gas are the supernova explosions of the most massive stars, which will occur after only 1–2 million years.>>
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:36 pm

neufer wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:53 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:07 pm

There is no evidence that magnetic fields like this play any role in the formation of stars. But they may form paths that over long periods influence the movement of dust and gas, and therefore affect where stars form and a degree of large scale structure. At the scale of stellar systems, gravity exerts much larger forces than electromagnetism. The fields we see in this image are incredibly weak.
  • No star could form without first dissipating a great deal of angular momentum through electromagnetism:
Fine. But not really relevant to my comment.
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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by TheZuke! » Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:51 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:36 pm
Fine. But not really relevant to my comment.
Prosecutor [grilling person in Witness Stand]: "You think you're so smart, huh? Well, answer this, What animal is large, gray, has 4 legs, a tail, a trunk, and lives in Africa?"

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Prosecutor [turning to Defence lawyer]: "Correct!"

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Re: APOD: Magnetic Streamlines of the Milky Way (2020 Jun 17)

Post by Eclectic Man » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:04 am

This would be awesome as a full Virtual Reality experience, with the viewer able to experience the whole sky like a Van Gogh painting, or could it be available as a poster sized print?