Thursday, July 21, 2011

Twisted Tale of our Galaxy's Ring - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Twisted Tale of our Galaxy's Ring - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory:

"New observations from the Herschel Space Observatory show a bizarre, twisted ring of dense gas at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Only a few portions of the ring, which stretches across more than 600 light-years, were known before. Herschel's view reveals the entire ring for the first time, and a strange kink that has astronomers scratching their heads.

'We have looked at this region at the center of the Milky Way many times before in the infrared,' said Alberto Noriega-Crespo of NASA's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. 'But when we looked at the high-resolution images using Herschel's sub-millimeter wavelengths, the presence of a ring is quite clear.'"