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New Milky Way Map Created; Shows Fewer Main Arms

from National Geographic News

Astronomers unveiled [Tuesday] what they are calling the best map ever produced of the Milky Way galaxy. The new view shows our spiral galaxy as it would look face-on to a very distant observer.

The map is based on findings about the structural evolution of the Milky Way presented this week at the 212th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in St. Louis, Missouri.

Robert Benjamin of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater was among the scientists who presented results at a briefing [Tuesday] with reporters. The researchers determined that the Milky Way actually has two fewer major arms than previously believed.

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