The Skeleton of the Milky Way
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CitationZucker, Catherine, Cara Battersby, and Alyssa Goodman. 2015. “The Skeleton of the Milky Way.” The Astrophysical Journal 815 (1) (December 3): 23. doi:10.1088/0004-637x/815/1/23.
AbstractRecently, Goodman et al. argued that the very long, very thin infrared dark cloud "Nessie" lies directly in the Galactic midplane and runs along the Scutum–Centaurus Arm in position–position–velocity (p–p–v) space as traced by lower-density ￼ and higher-density ￼ gas. Nessie was presented as the first "bone" of the Milky Way, an extraordinarily long, thin, high-contrast filament that can be used to map our Galaxy's "skeleton." Here we present evidence for additional bones in the Milky Way, arguing that Nessie is not a curiosity but one of several filaments that could potentially trace Galactic structure. Our 10 bone candidates are all long, filamentary, mid-infrared extinction features that lie parallel to, and no more than 20 pc from, the physical Galactic mid-plane. We use ￼ ￼ ￼, and ￼ radial velocity data to establish the three-dimensional location of the candidates in p–p–v space. Of the 10 candidates, 6 also have a projected aspect ratio of ≥50:1; run along, or extremely close to, the Scutum–Centaurus Arm in p–p–v space; and exhibit no abrupt shifts in velocity. The evidence presented here suggests that these candidates mark the locations of significant spiral features, with the bone called filament 5 ("BC_18.88-0.09") being a close analog to Nessie in the northern sky. As molecular spectral-line and extinction maps cover more of the sky at increasing resolution and sensitivity, it should be possible to find more bones in future studies.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:34331447
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