An artist's impression of the Milky Way galaxy showing its x-shaped core (Image: ESO)
The NGC4710 galaxy as captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy's core exhibits the same x-shape as that of the Milky Way (Image: NASA/ESA)
An artist's impression of the structure of the Milky Way from above (Image:ESO)
Astronomers have used data from European Southern Observatory telescopes to create a three dimensional map of the central bulge of the Milky Way. The gigantic cloud at the center of our galaxy contains a staggering 10,000 million stars (or thereabouts) and resides around 27,000 light-years away. Despite the relative proximity of the area, prior to these new studies little had been confirmed concerning its origin and structure.
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