Science Updates - A look at CfA discoveries from recent journals

image of the Milky Way as seen at radio wavelengths
February 26, 2021

One of the largest structures in the Milky Way galaxy, the North Polar Spur, was discovered at radio and X-ray wavelengths. The Spur is a giant ridge of bright emission that rises roughly perpendicularly out of the plane of the galaxy starting roughly in the constellation of Sagittarius and then curves upward, stretching across the sky for over thirty degrees (the size of sixty full-moons) where it appears to join other bright filamentary features.

image of the Milky Way’s central molecular zone
February 19, 2021

The Milky Way's central molecular zone (CMZ) spans the innermost 1600 light-years of the galaxy (for comparison, the Sun is 26,600 light-years away from the galactic center) and includes a vast complex of molecular clouds containing about sixty million solar-masses of molecular gas.

 Mars Global Surveyor image of dust storms in the north in the fall of Mars Year 24
February 12, 2021

Dust storms are one of the defining features of the Martian atmosphere. They range from microscale dust devils to global events, and greatly impact the Martian climate through atmospheric changes.