Mystery object in space could be a new arm of the Milky Way

Astronomers have discovered an enormous new filament of gas and dust hanging at the outer edge of our galaxy. Nicknamed “Cattail,” the feature is not yet fully mapped, and the team who found it believe it could be a previously unknown arm of our Milky Way galaxy.

The Milky way is a giant spiral galaxy, which has a central bulge surrounded by coiling arms containing stars, gas and dust. Our home galaxy has four known spiral arms — two major arms named Scutum-Centaurus and Perseus, and two minor arms squished between them named Norma and Sagittarius, according to NASA. Earth is on a branch of the Sagittarius arm named the Orion Spur.

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