The way to map Milky Way is to measure stars’ distance: astronomer

Przemek Mróz, an astronomer from the Warsaw University Team responsible for creating a unique 3D model of the Milky Way, spoke with PolandIN about the research, for which he was rewarded with a scholarship of the Foundation for Polish Science “START”.

Mr Mróz pointed out that since the galaxy we live in is so big, it is impossible to take pictures of it from the outside, and scientists have to rely on indirect methods to study the Milky Way.

In his opinion, the most efficient way to study the properties of the Milky Way is to measure the distances between thousands of stars that trace the shape of the Galaxy.

This is exactly how the 3D Milky Way map was made by a team of scientists which he was a member of. It was based on observations of over 2,400 Cepheids - a type of star that pulsates radially, producing changes in brightness with a well-defined stable period and amplitude.

The map shows the actual arrangement of these star populations in the Galaxy. This is the first three-dimensional map created on the basis of direct distances between individual objects.

His research includes many interesting observations, such as the phenomenon of free-floating planets, which are planets that do not orbit any stars. Przemek Mróz also touches on the challenges that await astronomers in the future.

Click here to watch the full interview.