Extragalactic Structure Found Hiding Behind the Milky Way


| LAST UPDATE 11/13/2022

By Daria Appleby
space mystery Milky Way
QAI Publishing/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The limit of space is always in question. While scientists are typically investigating daily to find more in-depth answers to the intergalactic world, advanced technology has allowed them to do so. However, in a recent study, scientists found something that has not been acknowledged until now.

Despite having slightly easier access to a visible light telescope, we can only see so much of the farthest night sky. However, astronomers have recently discovered a world behind the beyond. Within the average Milky Way, we have our solar system compiling planets and our beloved Earth. Yet, a hidden region has been detected beyond this point. It has been called out as a blank point taking up 10-20% of the night sky, known as "the zone of avoidance," according to LiveScience. But, this is not visible looking through any ordinary telescope. Considering the blinding bulk of stars, this unchartered zone has been "absorbed" before becoming visible at the reach of anything surrounding Earth. Still, never doubt the mind of an astronomer as they dug out a telescope that can detect infrared radiation. This is something only visible to the human eye as its shine sores through any dense structure. 

Extragalactic Structure Milky Way
LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images

After combining data, the infrared visuals exposed "the most colossal structure ever detected in the zone of avoidance," according to a study published on the preprint database arXiv.org. Their findings found this hidden layer of our galaxy is roughly 3 billion light-years from Earth and "a large cluster of galaxies drawn together by a shared center of gravity." Regarding the survey's findings, there is evidence of at least 58 galaxies clustered together, accumulating a very small section of "the zone of avoidance." While these clusters can include hundreds of galaxies within, the colossal structure could be far more complex to understand its properties and identity. However, when in need, especially in times like this, astronomers are willing to dig out futuristic technology to enhance their discoveries, implying a deeper understanding of our entire solar system, it's structure, and beyond.

Considering these findings are highly ahead of their time, the results could only give a glimpse of insight into this puzzling region. Nevertheless, while astronomers think ahead, future technology might be of assistance, including NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (above), which uses infrared to capture the "deepest image of the universe to date." Stay tuned.