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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