Milky Way may be 50 percent larger than previously thought

The galaxy may be much larger than previously believed. Scientists have discovered that the arms of the galaxy are not flat, but wavy. Moreover, the Milky Way would not be 100,000 light-years wide, but 150,000 light-years.

The Milky Way is therefore slightly different than scientists had previously assumed, the researchers write in their article in The Astrophysical Journal. The researchers compare the structure with the waves that are created when you throw a stone into the water, ScienceDaily reports. The undulation in the arms of the Milky Way could have been caused by smaller galaxies passing through the Milky Way, causing that wave effect.

Scientists from the United States, the United Kingdom and China, among others, tracked down the waves through anomalies in the positions of stars. It is still unknown if there are still waves behind the now known arms of the Milky Way.