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article imageInner Milky Way reveals a cosmic 'candy cane'

By Tim Sandle     Jan 1, 2020 in Science
NASA's new mapping process of the inner Milky Way, has revealed what appears to be a cosmic 'candy cane'. This takes the form of a colorful composite image of the Milky Way galaxy's central zone.
The new images, which come from NASA and the Goddard Space Flight Center, might resemble items from a confectioner's shop. In actual fact they are a colorful array of radio-emitting filaments, which extend some 190 light-years. The colors are produced by merging microwave data (green light) together with infrared (850 micrometers, appearing as blue light) and radio observations (19.5 centimeters, which appear as red). The image generated spans a distance of 750 light-years.
An artist s depiction of the Milky Way shows a blue halo of dark matter surrounding the spiral galax...
An artist's depiction of the Milky Way shows a blue halo of dark matter surrounding the spiral galaxy, the expected distribution of this mysterious material, based on the Milky Way's rotation properties.
ESO/L. Cal├žada via Wikimedia (CC BY 4.0)
The colors reveal different astronomical events happening. As a star forms, cold dust appears as blue and cyan (an example has been revealed in the Sagittarius B2 molecular cloud complex located 390 light years from the center of the Milky Way). In contrast, yellow coloration rshows established star factories, as with the Sagittarius B1 cloud (where there is a star 3 million times the mass of the Sun).
Whereas red and orange colors represent high-energy electrons interacting with magnetic fields, such as the Radio Arc and Sagittarius A features. Within a bright source within Sagittarius A is the Milky Way's super-massive black hole (containing a mass of the order of hundreds of thousands to billions of times the mass of the Sun).
The project will search for alien life across the Milky Way and other parts of the universe  by look...
The project will search for alien life across the Milky Way and other parts of the universe, by looking for radio spectrums and laser signals
, Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA/AFP
The new findings were made possible through the use of the Goddard-IRAM Superconducting 2-Millimeter Observer, located in Pico Veleta, Spain.
One of the astronomers, Richard Arendt, says the most important find was the Radio Arc, noting: "Its emission comes from high-speed electrons spiraling in a magnetic field, a process called synchrotron emission. Another feature GISMO sees, called the Sickle, is associated with star formation and may be the source of these high-speed electrons."
This NASA image shows a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way  located about 160 000 light years f...
This NASA image shows a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, located about 160,000 light years from Earth
, NASA/AFP/File
The new findings are reported to The Astrophysical Journal, where the research paper is titled "Observations of the Galactic Center. II. A Nonthermal Filament in the Radio Arc and Compact Sources."
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