Scientists reveal the hidden structure and size of our galaxy
Our galaxy is not what we thought it was. According the paper Rings and Radial Waves in the Disk of the Milky Way—published in the Astrophysical Journal—we should call it the Corrugated Cardboard Galaxy, as shown in the diagram above. Even more surprising: It’s 50-percent larger than previously thought.
"According to Heidi Jo Newberg—professor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and lead author for this paper—"in essence, what we found is that the disk of the Milky Way isn't just a disk of stars in a flat plane—it's corrugated. As it radiates outward from the sun, we see at least four ripples in the disk of the Milky Way. While we can only look at part of the galaxy with this data, we assume that this pattern is going to be found throughout the disk.""