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The True Shape of the Milky Way

Most illustrations of the Milky Way show it to be a flat disk of swirling cosmos. It's not entirely inaccurate to depict it that way but recent research has found that as we move further out of the Milky Way's spiraling arms, the gravitational pull weakens and that creates a sort of bent shape on the outer edges of the galaxy. So in reality, the Milky Way has an S-shape.

(Image credit: CHEN Xiaodian)

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