Study Finds Milky Way Has Four Arms, Not Two

A 12-year galactic survey unveils two overlooked arms

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Babek Tafreshi / SSPL / Getty Images

The Milky Way galaxy, on Sept. 7, 2013.

Astronomers in the U.K. have counted not two but four arms swirling out from the center of the Milky Way.

According to NPR, the updated arm-count comes from a 12-year galactic survey of massive young stars. The short-lived stars have no time to drift outside of the arms and therefore make convenient markers for the galaxy’s appendages.

Taken together, they paint a very different picture of the Milky Way, which up until now had been inadvertently amputated in its two-armed renderings, and can now be restored to its true, four-armed splendor.



Which is the probability that within a galaxy like this, from the dust of its exploded stars, the living being who uses a computer was formed - computer included? A favourable case among infinite unfavourable possibilities? Fifty-fifty? To be or not to be, is that the question? Or is it a zero followed by a radix point and an infinite amount of zeros behind, but finishing with a one emerging from error or compassion when rounding up? Are calculations simplified or made more complex when the subjective self of each one is the entity that is valued? Anyway , what is the relationship between life and immense numbers? Is life a folding process of infinity? Is it just something infinite that would have enough to allow  me, a self, something of infinite claims? But, is infinity credible in something with a beginning, the result of a Big Bang ? And in something with an ending, with the inevitable death around the corner? Along these lines, a serious-funny book recommendation, a preview in Just another mind leisure suggestion, far away from dogmas or axioms.


Is a misconception spawned by self-contradicting non-Euclidean geometry in the general theory of relativity causing us to cling to a gravitational model for galaxy formation and to neglect the prospects of a plasma physics model?  The Edwin Hubble's doppler shift explanation for the 'red shift' of light from distant galaxies has been upended. Are We Ready For A Galaxy Formation Paradigm Shift? See the Facebook Note about the unexpected development that involved NASA scientists.


We could rename our galaxy the Vishnu Galaxy, after the Hindu god with four arms.