The Milky Way galaxy may be a different shape than we thought

May 16, 2023
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We don't know what our galaxy actually looks like because WE ARE INSIDE OF IT!!!!!! The only way we'll ever determine the shape of the Milky Way is to observe it from intergalactic space, And to get there, we are going to have wait until the far, far, far distant future at which point we'll be able to travel at light years per second to get to some point far away enough to really see it.
 
Sep 11, 2022
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we are going to have wait until the far, far, far distant future at which point we'll be able to travel at light years per second .
Speed of light is the speed limit in this universe, so on first glance your prediction cannot come to pass. However, perhaps the definition of "second" changes in the future. Our descendants may opt for immortality or extreme longevity and combine this with a corresponding lengthening of the shortest interval of perception. Then, what we see as a million years, feels to them like a mere second.

Upside of that change is they need not fear the soul-killing boredom of interstellar travel. All the beautiful stellar formations, quasars, supernovas imaged by Hubble are now within a day's outing (a "day" on their timescale). Downside, they lose all ability to communicate with short-lived beings like us.
 
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May 14, 2021
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That is one of the hardest things to do, determining the shape and characteristics of the Milky Way from within, especially as stars in some directions can’t be seen or measured due to intervening dust and gas. Like determining the shape of a forest from inside.
 
Yes, Webb can see with wavelengths up to 28 microns. It can go through dust any smaller than that without hardly any attenuation. Any dust bigger than that is extremely rare in interstellar space. It should be able to see stars on the far side of our galaxy. They just need some time to do the observations. Thousands are required to show the shape of our galaxy. This would be a fairly low priority for them. Such a study does not need to look at specific locations. They can get their data by piggybacking on whatever observations are being done. They will be randomly scattered around the sky. Over a 1 year period, the whole sky is visible to JWST.
 
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