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Galactic Fidget Spinner: Unraveling the Milky Way’s Spiral Structure

6 Mar 2021, 13:04 UTC
Galactic Fidget Spinner: Unraveling the Milky Way’s Spiral Structure
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Title: Galactic Spiral Structure revealed by Gaia EDR3Authors: E. Poggio, R. Drimmel, T. Cantat-Gaudin, P. Ramos, V. Ripepi, E. Zari, R. Andrae, R. Blomme, L. Chemin, G. Clementini, F. Figueras, M. Fouesneau, Y. Frémat, A. Lobel, D. J. Marshall, T. Muraveva, and M. Romero-GómezFirst Author’s Institution: Université Côte d’Azur, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, CNRS, Laboratoire Lagrange, FranceStatus: Submitted to Astronomy & Astrophysics [open access]agdgskdfjgdskrjgablekrugafgjhabsdfkuaglseivblsdkfbsgfkjbdfglkajdbfgasdkf.jgb a.dskgb

Try picturing a bird’s-eye view of our own Galaxy in your head.
What does it look like?
Chances are, something like this – a big, beautiful, mostly blue spiral galaxy:Figure 1: Spiral galaxy NGC 1232. Source: https://www.eso.org/public/images/eso9845d/Although astronomers are confident that our own Milky Way is also a spiral galaxy similar to the one shown above, there are still many aspects of its structure that we do not fully understand. Spiral galaxies come in different types, including: grand design, flocculent, barred, unbarred, intermediate – all differing in the shape, number, size, and distribution of their spiral arms! Based on decades of observational studies, we believe that the Milky Way is a barred spiral. However, it is challenging to obtain a comprehensive picture of its morphology (shape and properties), since all our observations are taken ...

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