An unprecedented new telescope image of the Milky Way galaxy’s turbulent center has revealed nearly 1,000 mysterious strands, inexplicably dangling in space.
To construct the image with unprecedented clarity and detail, astronomers spent three years surveying the sky and analyzing data at the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO). Using 200 hours of time on SARAO’s MeerKAT telescope, researchers pieced together a mosaic of 20 separate observations of different sections of the sky toward the center of the Milky Way galaxy, 25,000 light years from Earth.
The complete image was created by overlaying information from two other space telescopes: Spitzer and WISE.
Image credits: SARAO/MeerKAT, Spitzer Space Telescope, Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Judy Schmidt, Adam Jesionkiewicz (Color Grading).