Cobe views the Milky Way in the Infrared light

[Milky Way in IR, COBE]

The Cobe satellite, whose primary mission was the investigation of the Cosmic Background radiation, a relict of the universe's violent origin, the Big Bang, has obtained this image of the central region of our Milky Way galaxy. As the obscurring dust clouds within the spiral arms of our galaxy are far more transparent for the long wavelengths IR radiation observed by Cobe, it has obtained a much clearer image of the structure of our galaxy, exposing a prominent central bulge and a very thin IR brilliant disk, where the interstellar clouds are concentrated. Our galaxy clearly shows up as an edge-on spiral of type Sb to Sbc (or maybe SBb to SBbc).

Hartmut Frommert
Christine Kronberg

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Last Modification: February 3, 1999