The new map of the Milky Way reveals the magnificent mess of our galaxy

Astronomers have used the Milky Way’s youngest objects to construct a new map of the galaxy’s spiral arms, and the results are far more confusing than expected.

While a galaxy’s spiral arms look stunning and awe-inspiring, they aren’t much denser with stars than the spaces between them. A typical spiral arm has only about 10% more stars than the average, so the spiral arms are not regions of increased stellar concentration.

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