The Milky Way galaxy has quite an unusual form, as it’s made up of dozens of swirls and branches which gather into a complex entangling of stars and planets. However, scientists have been having quite a hard time measuring all the loops and patterns of Milky Way, and haven’t managed to tell where it ends. However, this has changed, as researchers have finally managed to pinpoint an area across the center of the galaxy.
Milky Way is a complicated mix of twirls and patterns
It’s hard to keep track of all patterns present in the Milky Way. Scientists could tell we are located in the Orion Spur, a dash of stars expanding right over the center of the galaxy. At one end, there is the Perseus Arm, and the Scutum-Centaurus Arm is situated right between us and the center of Milky Way. However, telling what comes next is a little tougher.
Scientists were sure there must be some loops spawning beyond the center of the galaxy but, given the distance and the high amount of star dust present there, they could never see or measure what lies there. However, a recent study published in the journal Science presents the discovery of a point lying way beyond the heart of the galaxy.
Researchers found the star-producing region in the Milky Way
This point, called G007.47+00.05, is the place where stars come into being, and the area which sends signals easily captured by radio telescopes. With the help of the Very Long Baseline Array, researchers finally managed to get a clear image of this point, about an entire year of continuously looking at it and measuring its distance.
After a lot of attempts to calculate the distance of the bright point, astronomers finally came up with an answer. The area is located 66,000 light-years away from our planet. There’s still much to do until getting a complete map of the Milky Way, but this is the first step in building an image of the unknown regions of the galaxy.
Image Source: JPL – NASA