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Milky Way has central bar
Posted: Wed, Aug 17, 2005, 8:19 AM ET (1219 GMT)
Milky Way central bar illus. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt) The Milky Way galaxy, long thought to be an ordinary spiral galaxy, instead has a bar through its core, astronomers announced this week. University of Wisconsin astronomers used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to try any study the central portion of the Milky Way at infrared wavelengths, looking for details obscured at visible-light wavelengths by dust. Those observations showed that there is a central bar of galaxies about 27,000 light-years across. Such bars are not unusual among spiral galaxies, and some astronomers had suspected the Milky Way had such a feature, although not as long as the one found by the Spitzer observations.
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