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Our galaxy is more symmetrical than thought

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Milky Way’ spiral arms

From Brian Clark Howard at National Geographic News:

Published in the journal Science Advances this week, a new study reported that our surrounding area of stars, gas, and dust—called the Local Arm, Orion Spur, or Orion–Cygnus Arm—is actually about 20,000 light-years long.

The immediate implications are that the galaxy is actually a little more symmetrical and regular than scientists previously thought, says one of the study’s co-authors, Mark J. Reid of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Although a better understanding of our galaxy’s structure doesn’t necessarily mean gravity or other forces acting on us are different from what we expect, it could help us better understand large-scale features in the future, notes Reid. More.

See also: Cosmologist Luke Barnes on fine-tuning of the universe


Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.

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Since he talks about, among many other things, the galactic habitable zone, this is good place to put a plug in for Dr. Ross's new book:
Improbable Planet: How Earth Became Humanity's Home https://www.amazon.com/Improbable-Planet-Earth-Became-Humanitys/dp/0801016894 Improbable Planet: How Earth Became Humanity's Home. - Frank Turek interviews Hugh Ross – Sept. 17, 2016 http://player.subsplash.com/8b92f21
Just a hundred years ago the Milky Way was the Universe. Einstein and everybody knew of no other galaxies. Milky Way was the whole kahuna. It's amazing how far we've come. Fine tuned accelerated expansion of universe discovered less than twenty years ago. Still learning the shape of Milky Way. ppolish

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