Researchers have identified the first “bone” of the Milky Way

“This is the first time we’ve seen such a delicate piece of the galactic skeleton,” says lead author Alyssa Goodman of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

This structure (Nicknamed Nessie after the Loch Ness Monster) is a long tendril of dust and gas that appears dark in this infrared image from the Spitzer Space Telescope. The “bone” is 300 light-years long and only 1 or 2 light years wide containing about 100,000 Suns’ worth of material.

In the image here it shows the extended version compared to the 2010 Nessie. It is at least 2 to 8 times larger than previously recorded. What is cool about this is that other spiral galaxies have been found to contain internal bones or endoskeletons that show up in the infrared wavelengths as well.

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