Credit & Copyright: Anglo-Australian Telescope BoardExplanation: What is the shape and composition of our Milky Way Galaxy? This question would be easier to answer if there wasn't so much obscuring dust! In the 1940s, however, astronomer Walter Baade identified a "window" near the center of our Galaxy where there is comparatively little opaque dust. Now called "Baade's Window", this sky region contains millions of stars and is used for many studies of the distant Milky Way. One clever use, devised by Bohdan Paczynski, is to monitor millions of stars in our Galactic Bulge - many through Baade's window - for sudden brightening due to gravitational lensing. Current observations by the OGLE and MACHO collaborations have now identified dozens of gravitational amplification events. This unexpectedly large number supports previous claims that our Galaxy has a "bar" of stars across the central nucleus, pointed nearly at the Sun.
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Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: Baade's Window
Publications with words: Baade's Window