Monday, 9 June 2008

Our Place In The Universe

A survey using the Spitzer Space Telescope has offered some evidence that we live in a large galaxy distinguished by two main spiral arms (the Scutum-Centaurus and Perseus arms) emerging from the ends of a large central bar.
If you could view our galaxy face on you would likely see the Milky Way as a two-armed barred spiral similar to the picture above. Previous investigations have identified a smaller central barred structure and four spiral arms.
Astronomers place our sun about a third of the way in from the Milky Ways outer edge in a minor arm called the Orion Spur.

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