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Scientists discover enormous structure warping around our galaxy


Researchers have located a very strange structure in the outer regions of our Milky Way galaxy, according to a recent study.


The study has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters and details what is called Cattail, a filament of gas that "appears to be so far the furthest and largest giant filament in the galaxy," said the team of astronomers at Nanjing University. Astronomers are yet to find out the origin of this large filament of gas, but speculation points towards it being a section of a spiral arm that has gone unnoticed until now.


The astronomers said, "Alternatively, Cattail might be part of a new arm ... though it is puzzling that the structure does not fully follow the warp of the galactic disk." The team of astronomers behind the paper used the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) to search for clouds containing neutral atomic hydrogen. By observing the extremely subtle patterns of hydrogen light, the astronomers are able to map the position of the Milky Way's spiral arms.

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