“Monsters & Dragons?” –Mapping the Terra Incognito of Milky Way’s Unseen Far Side

 

Milky Way's True Shape

 

“Optically, it’s like trying to look through a velvet cloth—black as black can be,” says Thomas Dame, Director of the Radio Telescope Data Center at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Senior Radio Astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory says about our view of  the Milky Way as solar system drifts between two spiral arms at its outer edges, some 27,000 light-years from its center. “In terms of tracing and understanding the spiral structure, essentially half of the Milky Way is terra incognito.”

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