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.

(more…)