Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




STELLAR CHEMISTRY
First "Bone" of the Milky Way Identified
by Staff Writers
Long Beach CA (SPX) Jan 14, 2013


Researchers have identified the first "bone" of the Milky Way - a long tendril of dust and gas that appears dark in this infrared image from the Spitzer Space Telescope. Running horizontally along this image, the "bone" is more than 300 light-years long but only 1 or 2 light-years wide. It contains about 100,000 suns' worth of material. Credit: NASA/JPL/SSC. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Our Milky Way is a spiral galaxy - a pinwheel-shaped collection of stars, gas and dust. It has a central bar and two major spiral arms that wrap around its disk. Since we view the Milky Way from the inside, its exact structure is difficult to determine. Astronomers have identified a new structure in the Milky Way: a long tendril of dust and gas that they are calling a "bone."

"This is the first time we've seen such a delicate piece of the galactic skeleton," says lead author Alyssa Goodman of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). Goodman presented the discovery at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Long Beach, Calif.

Other spiral galaxies also display internal bones or endoskeletons. Observations, especially at infrared wavelengths of light, have found long skinny features jutting between galaxies' spiral arms. These relatively straight structures are much less massive than the curving spiral arms.

Computer simulations of galaxy formation show webs of filaments within spiral disks. It is very likely that the newly discovered Milky Way feature is one of these "bone-like" filaments.

Goodman and her colleagues spotted the galactic bone while studying a dust cloud nicknamed "Nessie." The central part of the "Nessie" bone was discovered in Spitzer Space Telescope data in 2010 by James Jackson (Boston University), who named it after the Loch Ness Monster. Goodman's team noticed that Nessie appears at least twice, and possibly as much as eight times, longer than Jackson's original claim.

Radio emissions from molecular gas show that the feature is not a chance projection of material on the sky, but instead a real feature. Not only is "Nessie" in the galactic plane, but also it extends much longer than anyone anticipated. This slender bone of the Milky Way is more than 300 light-years long but only 1 or 2 light-years wide. It contains about 100,000 suns' worth of material, and now looks more like a cosmic snake.

"This bone is much more like a fibula - the long skinny bone in your leg - than it is like the tibia, or big thick leg bone," explains Goodman.

"It's possible that the 'Nessie' bone lies within a spiral arm, or that it is part of a web connecting bolder spiral features. Our hope is that we and other astronomers will find more of these features, and use them to map the skeleton of the Milky Way in 3-D," she adds.

.


Related Links
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Milky Way Bones
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Sofia Spots Recent Starburst In The Milky Way Galaxy'S Center
Edwards AFB (SPX) Jan 11, 2013
Researchers using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) have captured new images of a ring of gas and dust seven light-years in diameter surrounding the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, and of a neighboring cluster of extremely luminous young stars embedded in dust cocoons. The images of our galaxy's Circumnuclear Ring (CNR) and the neighboring ... read more


STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Mission would drag asteroid to the moon

Russia designs manned lunar spacecraft

GRAIL Lunar Impact Site Named for Astronaut Sally Ride

NASA probes crash into the moon

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Mars One announces requirements for Red Planet colonists

Opportunity Heading Toward Light-Toned Veins

Bacteria In Rio Tinto Could Be Like Those On Mars

Mars500 project - salt balance of the Mars 'astronauts'

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
AXE to Send 22 Guys to Space with New Apollo Campaign

IBM tops as tech titans scramble for US patents

Chinese tech firms pump up volume at CES

High fashion, high tech intersect at CES confab

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Crew Wraps Up Robonaut Testing

Station Crew Ringing in New Year

Expedition 34 Ready to Ring in New Year

New ISS crew docked at Space Station

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Roscosmos Releases Report On Proton Launch Anomaly

Russia plans replacement for Soyuz rocket

Arianespace's industry leadership will continue with 12 launcher family missions planned in 2013

Arianespace addresses The Insurance Institute of London

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Earth-size planets common in galaxy

NASA's Hubble Reveals Rogue Planetary Orbit For Fomalhaut B

NASA, ESA Telescopes Find Evidence for Asteroid Belt Around Vega

Kepler Gets a Little Help From Its Friends

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Study reveals ordinary glass's extraordinary properties

Bottom-up approach provides first characterization of pyroelectric nanomaterials

Chemical modules that mimic predator-prey and other behaviors

Government funding for 'super-material'




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement