Astronomers bypass visible light to map the Galaxy’s structure
In a new study by Camargo et al. 2015 star-forming regions similar to that shown in the above image were used to trace the Galaxy’s structure (image credit: NASA, ESA, J. M. Apellániz).
A team of Brazilian astronomers used star clusters embedded in their natal clouds to trace the Galaxy’s structure. “Our results favour a four-armed spiral Galaxy, which includes the Sagittarius-Carina, Perseus, and Outer arms.”, remarked the group from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul.
“Despite efforts aimed at improving our understanding of the Galaxy’s structure, questions remain. There is no consensus regarding the number and shape of the Galaxy’s spiral arms.”, noted lead author D. Camargo. He added that the Sun’s location within the obscured disc of the Galaxy was a principal factor hindering our understanding of the Milky Way’s broader structure. In other words, we do not have a bird’s eye view of our Galaxy.
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