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New map reveals the Milky Way's location among the "Council of Giants"

Astronomers know that the Milky Way is parked within the Local Group of galaxies, an interstellar expanse extending 3 million light years across. But we know very little about the area just outside of this. A new map corrects this oversight, showing that we live among the "Council of Giants." » 3/11/14 8:00am 3/11/14 8:00am

The most accurate 3D map of our galaxy reveals a peanut-shaped core

Our solar system is located in an offshoot of one of the Milky Way's spiral arms, so we don't have a clear sense of what our galaxy looks like edge on. Now, two groups of astronomers have pooled their data to create the most detailed map yet of the galaxy's core — and its shape comes as a surprise. » 9/12/13 9:00am 9/12/13 9:00am