‘Break’ in Milky Way’s Spiral Arm

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Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Video imagery:

·       Illustration of Milky Way galaxy: NASA/JPL-Caltech
·       Illustration of newly discovered galactic arm spur: NASA/JPL-Caltech
·       Eagle, Omega, Triffid, and Lagoon Nebulae: NASA/JPL-Caltech
·       Illustration of Milky Way galaxy: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Writer: Leah Ramsay
Designer: Leah Hustak
Science review: Dr. Kelly Lepo
Education review: Jim Manning
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Text, News From The Universe
September 3, 2021. 'Break' In Milky Way's Spiral Arm
Astronomers have discovered a 3,000-light-year-long structure jutting off one of the Milky Way galaxy's main spiral arms.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope detected young stars within the previously unknown feature.
The European Space Agency's Gaia mission was used to measure distances to the stars and confirm their odd angle.
The small branch contains some of the most beautiful known nebulas: the Eagle, Omega, Trifid, and Lagoon.
There is still some mystery as to why and how galaxies form spiral shapes.
Details like this discovery help astronomers to understand the bigger picture of galaxy structure, including our home galaxy of the Milky Way.
This news was brought to you in part by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA