Figuring out what the Milky Way looks like is akin to a murder mystery – New Scientist

How can we get a picture of the whole Milky Way if we are inside it? Good sleuthing is needed to combine all the clues, writes Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

By Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

ALL of the students in my astrophysics class last semester had to give a final presentation. In one, a student showed everyone an image of our galaxy, the Milky Way, as viewed from Earth. The student then showed another image of a spiral galaxy, suggesting that it reflected our own. Because it was a class focused on stars the students are taking on galaxies this semester a question came from the audience: how can we get a picture of the whole Milky Way if we are inside it? We cant.

In this sense, astrophysics is like a Midsomer

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Figuring out what the Milky Way looks like is akin to a murder mystery - New Scientist

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