Milky Way loses 2 arms
- URL to an article in MSNBC
First Pluto gets downgraded from planet, then the Milky Way loses a couple
of arms. I am bummed out!!
First few paragraphs
Milky Way loses two arms
New infrared images effectively sever two star 'appendages'
R. Hurt / SSC-Caltech / NASA
New infrared images of the Milky Way show just two major spiral arms,
Scutum-Centaurus and Perseus, along with a newly discovered arm called Far 3kpc
Arm near our galaxy's center. This is an artist's conception based on the data.
_View related photos_
By Jeanna Bryner
updated 12:58 p.m. CT, Tues., June. 3, 2008
ST. LOUIS - For decades, astronomers have pictured our galaxy as sporting
four major, spiral arms, however new images effectively sever two appendages,
revealing the Milky Way has just two major arms.
"We're not proposing that they change the positions of the arms," said
Robert Benjamin of the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. "What we're proposing
is a change in the emphasis of the arms." Benjamin will present his team's
results today here at a meeting_ (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24951910/#) of
the American Astronomical Society (AAS).
The results are among a handful of _presentations_
(http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24951910/#) at the meeting to paint an evolving picture of our galactic
For instance, other results presented here this week suggest a completely
new arm of stars wraps around one side of the galactic bulge. And another group
has identified with more accuracy the location and relative distance of the
spiral arms. .
The Milky Way debuted as a spiral celebrity in 1951 when astronomical
morphologist William Morgan of the Yerkes Observatory presented his results showing
the galaxy's three arms of hot stars, which he were then named Perseus,
Orion and Sagittarius.
"Those were the first three arms of the spiral galaxy," Benjamin told
SPACE.com. "Actually, he got a standing ovation at the AAS meeting, which is
something I've never seen."
Beginning in the 1960s and through the 1980s, several groups of scientists
used radio astronomy to map out the Milky Way's structure, coming up with
various results on how the spiral arms looked and the number of arms."
Chris ("at least I have the right number of arms")
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