Lumpy porridge is an occupational hazard for breakfast chefs, but what about the lumpiness of the Milky Way galaxy, the home of our solar system?
Scientists now believe that they have a solution to a phenomenon discovered over 50 years ago.
The lumpiness may be caused by the gravitational pull of close-by galaxies, according to Evan Levine of the University of California, Berkeley who revealed his theory to the American Astronomical Society this week.
Levine's fellow star gazer, Leo Blitz, said that the galaxy's shape is like the tipped brim of a fedora.
Some astronomers have suggest that a smaller pair of passing galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, were affecting the shape of the Milky Way. But this theory was not widely accepted as these galaxies are too small to have such a profound pull.
However, 'dark matter' up to 10 times heavier than the normal matter is now now believed to be responsible for the additional, previously explained pull and subsequent distortion of the Milky Way.
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