Humanity’s First Image of the ‘Galactic Bar’ at Milky Way Center

Milky Way's Galactic Bar

 

“We know the Milky Way has a bar, like other barred spiral galaxies, but so far we only had indirect indications from the motions of stars and gas, or from star counts in infrared surveys. This is the first time that we see the galactic bar in three-dimensional space, based on geometric measurements of stellar distances,” says Gaia astrophysicist Friedrich Anders of the large, elongated distribution of stars: the galactic bar at the center of our galaxy.

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“Water Worlds of the Milky Way” –Hold Vast Promise in the Search for Life

“It’s amazing to think that the enigmatic intermediate-size exoplanets could be water worlds with vast amounts of water. Hopefully atmosphere observations in the future–of thick steam atmospheres—can support or refute the new findings,” said Professor Sara Seager, Professor of Planetary Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and deputy science director of the recently-launched TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) mission, which will search for exoplanets.

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