Nov 13, 2022

Scientists discover massive ‘extragalactic structure’ behind the Milky Way

Posted by in categories: energy, space

Astronomers have detected an enormous extragalactic structure hiding in an uncharted region of space far beyond the Milky Way ‘s center.

This phantom region, known as the zone of avoidance, is a blank spot on our map of the universe, comprising somewhere between 10% and 20% of the night sky. The reason we can’t see it — at least with standard visible light telescopes — is because the Milky Way’s bulging center blocks our view of it; the center of our galaxy is so dense with stars, dust and other matter that light from the zone of avoidance gets scattered or absorbed before reaching Earth’s telescopes.

However, researchers have had better luck uncovering the zone’s secrets with telescopes that can detect infrared radiation — a type of energy that’s invisible to human eyes, but powerful enough to shine through dense clouds of gas and dust. Infrared surveys of the zone of avoidance have found evidence of thousands of individual galaxies shining through the cosmic fog, though little is known about the large-scale structures that lurk there.

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