A Bar at the Heart of the Milky Way

From Scientific American:Milky

The Milky Way may be our own galactic neighborhood, but it still has some surprises in store. To wit: the most comprehensive structural analysis of the galaxy ever conducted indicates that ours is not a run-of-the-mill spiral one after all.

Using NASA’s infrared Spitzer Space Telescope to sample light from some 30 million stars in the Milky Way, astronomers observed a long bar of relatively old stars spanning the center of the galaxy.

More here.