Credit & Copyright: GLIMPSE TeamExplanation: A recent survey of stars conducted with the Spitzer Space Telescope is convincing astronomers that our Milky Way Galaxy is not just your ordinary spiral galaxy anymore. Looking out from within the Galaxy's disk, the true structure of the Milky Way is difficult to discern. However, the penetrating infrared census of about 30 million stars indicates that the Galaxy is distinguished by a very large central bar some 27,000 light-years long. In fact, from a vantage point that viewed our galaxy face-on, astronomers in distant galaxies would likely see a striking barred spiral galaxy suggested in this artist's illustration. While previous investigations have identified a small central barred structure, the new results indicate that the Milky Way's large bar would make about a 45 degree angle with a line joining the Sun and the Galaxy's center. DON'T PANIC ... astronomers still place the Sun beyond the central bar region, about a third of the way in from the Milky Way's outer edge.
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NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: Milky Way - barred spiral galaxy
Publications with words: Milky Way - barred spiral galaxy
- APOD: 2023 July 18 Á Milky Way above La Palma Observatory
- APOD: 2023 July 16 Á Meteor and Milky Way over the Alps
- APOD: 2023 July 2 Á Milky Way and Aurora over Antarctica
- APOD: 2023 June 20 Á The Nandu in the Milky Way
- APOD: 2023 May 29 Á Milky Way over a Turquoise Wonderland
- APOD: 2023 May 10 Á Milky Way over Egyptian Desert
- NGC 2442: Galaxy in Volans