|Live Science | Apr 25, 2014 | Katia Moskvitch. Space.com|
|The Milky Way arches over an old windmill near Paulden, Arizona. |
Astrophotographer Sean Parker sent this image to SAPCE.com on Dec. 30, 2013.
Credit: Sean Parker | www.sean-parker.com
It may seem odd that a comprehensive understanding of the Milky Way's structure has so far eluded researchers. But it's tough to get a broad view of the galaxy from within.
"We are fairly confident that the Milky Way is a spiral galaxy, but we don't know much in detail. At the most basic level, we'd like to be able to make a map that would show in detail what it looks like," said Mark Reid of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who led the new study.