Halo of Gas Surrounds Milky Way

June 27, 2013 3:49 PM

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Halo of Gas Surrounds Milky Way

Spiral galaxies, like our own Milky Way, form spectacular pinwheels of stars, planets and debris in space. Now, it turns out that these galaxies may be a lot more massive than previously believed. Scientists have discovered that halos of gas can extend outward for over one million light-years.

Detecting these halos wasn't easy. The scientists discovered them after using Hubble's $70 million Cosmic Origins Spectograph (COS). More specifically, the team used distant quasars, the swirling centers of supermassive black holes, as "flashlights" in order to track ultraviolet light as it passed t...

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