NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has crashed the party of astronomical conventional wisdom. It’s long been thought our galaxy has four arms spiraling around the galactic core. Not true, according to the intrepid infrared telescope.
Over the past several years, it’s pretty much been conceded that the Milky Way is not a pure spiral galaxy, but a barred spiral. We have an elongated central core with two main arms. Why did it take so long to figure it all out? It is tough to discern the view from within.
Also in Spitzer news, an enormous 180-foot map of the galaxy was unveiled at the American Astronomical Society meeting in St. Louis this week.
Is this a Golden Age for astronomy or what?