Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Milky Way central nougat seen better now...

An artist's rendering of the Milky Way and its central bar structure, with the Sun's position noted. NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC/Caltech)

A new infrared survey that claims to be the most comprehensive structural analysis of our galaxy confirms previous evidence for a central bar of stars.

The bar is embedded in the center of the galaxy's spiral arms and cuts across the heart of it all where a supermassive black hole resides. The survey found that the bar is longer than thought and sits at a sharp angle to the galaxy's main plane.

"This is the best evidence ever for this long central bar in our galaxy," said Ed Churchwell, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of astronomy.

Read the Full article:
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC/Caltech)

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