Contact: Christine Pulliam
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Caption: Researchers have identified the first "bone" of the Milky Way - a long tendril of dust and gas that appears dark in this infrared image from the Spitzer Space Telescope. Running horizontally along this image, the "bone" is more than 300 light-years long but only 1 or 2 light-years wide. It contains about 100,000 suns' worth of material.
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Related news release: First 'bone' of the Milky Way identified