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The Milky Way is Not a Spiral?

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the well-now-i-don't-believe-in-nothin' dept.

Space 594

ETEQ writes "Space.com reports that new data from the Spitzer Space Telescope showing that the Milky Way is in fact a barred spiral! Looks like all our old astronomy textbooks will have to be thrown away..."

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Whoa! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340215)

That revelation just blew my mind.

Re:Whoa! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340251)

That revelation just blew my mind.

You think that's mind blowing, imagine all the astrologers having to recalibrate. It's like Y2K all over again!

certainly explains why I feel out of shape some mornings...

Re:Whoa! (1, Offtopic)

The I Shing (700142) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340344)

I hear the galaxy is being sued by Russian astrologers.

Re:Whoa! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340414)

Quick you wonderful slashdot moderators who mod everything correctly, mod this +5 informative!

Dupe (4, Insightful)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340396)

Not exactly a "revelation"- I learned that the Milky Way was a barred spiral in a Slashdot story three years ago. [slashdot.org]

Throw 'em Away (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340216)

Looks like all our old astronomy textbooks will have to be thrown away...
Yes, this change is truly astronomical.

Re:Throw 'em Away (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340451)

Thats alright, I end up throwing my books away every semester because the professor makes us buy the shiny new edition and the book store won't buy them back...

Definition of barred spiral galaxy (-1, Redundant)

joshdick (619079) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340220)

A barred spiral galaxy is a spiral galaxy with a band of bright stars emerging from the center and running across the middle of the galaxy. Spiral arms appear to emerge from the ends of the "bar" in these galaxies, whereas they appear to emerge directly from the core in ordinary spiral galaxies.

-- Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

Re:Definition of barred spiral galaxy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340243)

Way to repost the linked article, whore.

Wow, nice one (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340266)

That was a link in the summary, sheesh. Does no one read the summaries anymore?

Mod parent +5: helps lazy people (0, Offtopic)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340357)

Thank you negative responses for making it harder on my poor virgin fingers to read /.
I for one welcome our new linked-article-quoting overlords.

Re:Definition of barred spiral galaxy (1)

tgrimley (585067) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340395)

Ahh, delicious karma..

From the Department of Redundancy Department (2, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340454)

There's a good article over on Space.com [space.com] about this news, too!

Chucking Books... (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340221)

Looks like all our old astronomy textbooks will have to be thrown away..."

Just be careful of the words "throw away", "give away" and "books" in Henico County, VA

"Mine, mine! Geroff! Mine!"

Re:Chucking Books... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340268)

I'd pee my pants for a good old astronomy textbook.

Re:Chucking Books... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340340)

Somehow I don't think the prospect of a textbook will drive the herd into a frenzy quite the same way.

I always thought it was... (3, Funny)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340225)

a swirl of caramel and chocolate?

Science is not wright all the time. Blasaphmy!! (-1, Offtopic)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340234)

from the well-now-i-don't-believe-in-nothin dept.'
<Sarcasm>
Further Proof of why religion is wright and Science is wrong because while religion stays the same science is always changing and proving itself wrong.
</Sarcasm>

Well the actual problem is people on both sides. First you have one group who believes that science is actual truth, and that all the problems in the world can be fixed with science. Then there is an other group who believes that their religion is the full truth and anything to prove the otherwise is evil. Science is a process of formally figuring out how the universe works, it deals with a lot of guess work and we just check to see if our guesses are feasible. Religion on the other hand is more of a combined study where you put together many different studies and look at the truth as a whole, and if science can't 100% prove it, other theories are fair game, if they fit within the philosophy better. The main difference is science is trying to constantly disprove itself while religion is trying to prove itself. They are not opposing forces just different methods of trying to find truth.

Re:Science is not wright all the time. Blasaphmy!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340259)

Wow. Now that was *really* dumb. I nominate "Stupid post 2005"!

Re:Science is not wright all the time. Blasaphmy!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340277)

Wow... I need a Totally-Off-Topic +1 mod...

I'm really not bothered whether science is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340307)

as long as spelling is.

Hey, I'm a classicist. What can I do?

Re:Science is not wright all the time. Blasaphmy!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340310)

Really now. What prompted this?

Also,
from the well-now-i-don't-believe-in-nothin
A skeptic! Good man!

Re:Science is not wright all the time. Blasaphmy!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340316)

My belief is that religion is stagnant while science is developing. No, "Scientology" is not progress.

I wish to now coin the term "Christian marauder" (who doesn't necessarily need to be a Christian) but simply any vocal religious type who promotes religion to promote themselves to the detriment of all of Human civilization.

Re:Science is not wright all the time. Blasaphmy!! (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340408)

There is a difference between stagnant and conservative. Stagnant means the religions do not change over time, and that is not true, there is tremendous change over the past millennia in religion. Conservative is not taking what is currently popular ideas in blindly incorporating them.

Re:Science is not wright all the time. Blasaphmy!! (1, Insightful)

PenguinBoyDave (806137) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340346)

I am in agreement with you. I believe in creationism and intelligent design. Having said that, I don't mind going along with the notion that God (who I believe was the creator) could have used many things that scientists hold true and call "evolution" and the "Big Bang" to get us to where we are today. I think there is enough evidence to suggest that I can't be closed-minded about this. I for one have no problem believing that the earth is millions or billions of years old. However, I have friends who subscribe to the "Young Earth" theory which I find an interesting theory, but not very likely and not based on scientific evidence.

I don't try to tell people that don't believe like I do that they are wrong...I just want to have the same right to believe that which I do without being called a moron, fool, etc. just because someone else doesn't agree with it.

Re:Science is not wright all the time. Blasaphmy!! (-1, Flamebait)

Fiver- (169605) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340446)

There's a right to believe in whatever preposterous mythological bullshit you want without being called on it?

Re:Science is not wright all the time. Blasaphmy!! (1)

Goody (23843) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340516)

There's a right to believe in whatever preposterous mythological bullshit you want without being called on it?

Yep, and there's also a right to be an inconsiderate idiot about people's religious beliefs and berate them, despite having no positive way to know the origin of life, the Earth, or energy and matter. Forgive the worn-out cliche, but "Welcome to Slashdot."

Re:Science is not wright all the time. Blasaphmy!! (1, Redundant)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340464)

I believe in creationism and intelligent design... I just want to have the same right to believe that which I do without being called a moron, fool, etc. just because someone else doesn't agree with it.

Oh, I don't necessarily think you are a moron or a fool. You may just be ignorant [tnr.com] . Fortunately, the latter condition is treatable [talkorigins.org] .

Okay, karma don't fail me now (2, Insightful)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340504)

Please, first of all, don't feed the offtopic troll.
Second, there's a difference between being open-minded and just plain trying to justify remaining religious while supporting popular scientific theories. Personally, as a believer in what I guess is called the postmodern philosophy, I'm extremely skeptical about most things, especially things of universal magnitude. I just don't think there's any evidence whatsoever to suggest intelligent design is possible, and there's plenty of evidence to the contrary that the Divine Scenario and the Scientific Scenario are completely and totally mutually exclusive. The truly open-minded cannot ascribe absolute faith towards any one theory, or they risk alienating the possibility of other ideas (and you realize that christianity, judaism, islam, et. al. depend on absolute faith); therefore, the only options you have are to either admit that you absolutely believe creationism and assert with ultimate certainty that god created the universe, or to assert that you depend on scientific evidence, and that you cannot express with complete certainty that god created the universe.
Also, I don't think calling someone a moron or a fool because of their beliefs is wrong. I think it's a dastardly thing to do unless you actually show evidence supporting your point of view, but I think calling people idiots and fools is an integral part of the free exchange of information; and aside which, they're not getting any more intelligent with you patting them on the back and saying "good idiot".

I intend to be called an idiot and a fool in response to this, and also probably be modded down as much as my karma can stand, but this just has to be said. That's what I believe.

Re:Science is not wright all the time. Blasaphmy!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340355)

Further Proof of why religion is wright and Science is wrong because while religion stays the same science is always changing and proving itself wrong.

I'm sure Galileo and Copernicus would agree - not.

Re:Science is not wright all the time. Blasaphmy!! (0, Flamebait)

hoai2k (890518) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340386)

Well, Science may not always be Wright, but the Wright brothers were Science, I know that much. I don't think they could have invented the airplane with religion.

Re:Science is not wright all the time. Blasaphmy!! (1)

woozlewuzzle (532172) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340436)

And, of course:
    two wrongs don't make a right
, 2 wrights make an airplane
, and 3 rights make a left.

Re:Science is not wright all the time. Blasaphmy!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340443)

Well, Science may not always be Wright, but the Wright brothers were Science, I know that much. I don't think they could have invented the airplane with religion.

Well... they may have invented it with science, but the first time they climbed into it, they were certainly acting on faith!

"Wing and a prayer", and all that...

Re:Science is not wright all the time. Blasaphmy!! (5, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340429)


> Well the actual problem is people on both sides. First you have one group who believes that science is actual truth, and that all the problems in the world can be fixed with science.

I suspect that most scientists actually believe that science is an attempt to get at the truth, and will likely never be complete. And that only some problems can be fixed with science.

> Religion on the other hand is more of a combined study where you put together many different studies and look at the truth as a whole

Actually, religion looks at mythology and people's opinions about theology, morals, the proper social order, and the existence of a lot of unevidenced supernatural stuff.

> The main difference is science is trying to constantly disprove itself while religion is trying to prove itself. They are not opposing forces just different methods of trying to find truth.

Religion, most often, merely attempts to maintain traditional beliefs and values. Those who are "trying to find truth" usually get kicked out of the club, because truth is rarely deferential to traditional beliefs.

Not Exactly (4, Insightful)

Mr.Coffee (168480) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340235)

The evidence they found tells us that this MAY be a barred spiral galaxy, it is not yet, theres just good strong evidence that could lead to a barred-sprial conclusion.

Re:Not Exactly (3, Funny)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340511)

you don't seem to know the terms "media spin", or "jumping to conclusions", or "may increase the risk by upto 50%" etc.

Be environmentally friendly. (0)

ChrisF79 (829953) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340236)

Don't throw away the textbooks. Recycle them.

Patch for the books (3, Funny)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340324)

They'll just issue a patch for every book. They'll just give everyone a sticker and tell them wich page and paragraphs to stick it on. ;)

Re:Patch for the books (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340491)

You say this with an emoticon at the end of your statement, but I have had this in real textbooks. Some of the maths in a science book in high school were wrong. The publisher simply sent stickers with the corrected information, and we got to paste them in our brand new physics texts.

I am guessing you are poking fun at the evoloution story a while back that wanted to put stickers in textbooks in, I believe, Georgia that said something about evoloutin not being proven, and that Intelegent Design was a viable alternative.

Old astronomy textbook already thrown away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340238)

It's been a few years since we know this.

45 Degree line? (5, Funny)

Intron (870560) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340241)

"the bar is oriented at about a 45-degree angle relative to the main plane of the galaxy"

I'm pretty sure that this means "Do not enter" according to international standards.

Re:45 Degree line? (2, Funny)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340262)

the bar is oriented at about a 45-degree angle Just how many drinks did the researchers have?

Re:45 Degree line? (2, Funny)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340306)

Assume one beer or one shot of liquor per 3 degrees of tilt. The rest of the math is left as an exercise for the reader.

Kierthos

Damn bars always look that way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340330)

Especially if you've been in 'em a few billion years.

Re:45 Degree line? (5, Informative)

teuben (226278) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340486)

"the bar is oriented at about a 45-degree angle relative to the main plane of the galaxy"

typical science reporting. totally wrong. if that
chap had bothered to READ and understand the original article or web site, he would have
read
"It also shows that the bar is oriented at about a 45-degree angle relative to a line joining the sun and the center of the galaxy."

meaning the bar is in the galactic plane, not sticking out as the space.com article suggests

http://www.news.wisc.edu/11405.html [wisc.edu] seems a far better reference.

Just for the record, I still find it amusing that
astronomers always seem to need to report
in numbers astronomers don't even use. I know
of no single person that uses the lightyear, in
galactic astronomy we use the kilo-parsec (kpc).
The pc and lj are pretty close to each other,
3.26 between the two. So that 27,000 lightyear bar
would be 8.2 kpc. It must be the total length, since the sun is about 8 kpc from the center of
the milky way.

Old Textbooks? (4, Insightful)

UncleJam (786330) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340242)

Looks like all our old astronomy textbooks will have to be thrown away...

Which happens every year at the university level anyway, where a new 'edition' comes out every year with one or two pages slightly modified, but you have to buy the new one for $150 since the questions and homework study in the appendix are completely different. No, I'm not bitter that the fall semester is coming or anything.

Re:Old Textbooks? (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340375)

Which happens every year at the university level anyway, where a new 'edition' comes out every year with one or two pages slightly modified, but you have to buy the new one for $150 since the questions and homework study in the appendix are completely different. No, I'm not bitter that the fall semester is coming or anything.

In the event they are giving away old text books, please let me know. I'll happily stand in line, with my folding chair.

I've shelled some really big zorkmids for astronomy books and even one a couple years out of date is welcome on my shelf.

This is not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340249)

In fact this has been known for some time.

Flat Earth. (5, Funny)

dividedsky319 (907852) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340250)

Right, and the next thing you'll tell me is that the Earth isn't flat! And that the sun doesn't revolve around the earth. Blasphemers!

The Milky Way (2, Funny)

ChristyB (908232) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340252)

Is actually a candy bar. Here [overheardintheuk.com] is proof that the candy bar came before the galaxy. A company called Mars, Inc. makes them.

1st post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340255)

bitches

Ahahahehehehohoh, whooo, that's funny! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340283)

You couldn't have failed it worse! Last post, more like. Why do morons like you even try?

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340256)

fp

So much for my RPG galaxy maps... (2, Funny)

The I Shing (700142) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340257)

Well, dammit, I guess I'm going to have to rethink my entire Star Hero Terran Empires [herogames.com] roleplaying campaign.

The Milky Way is Not a Spiral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340258)

and my cat's breath smell likes cat food... big deal.

My MilkyWay.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340260)

chocolate drinks will never be the same.

Yay for more evidence! (2, Interesting)

jettoki (894493) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340265)

This is actually not very surprising. As the article points out, bars are common spiral galaxies. It would have been more surprising to find conclusive evidence against a bar.

Barred spiral (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340267)

We've suspected it for ages, this is just some of the first concrete proof of it.

Nah, keep 'em (2, Funny)

TildeMan (472701) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340269)

My high school chemistry textbook said that the atmosphere was 80% nitrogen and 23% oxygen, and that didn't need to be thrown away. So we'll just blame this shape-of-the-galaxy thing on sig figs.

Isn't it obvious? (5, Funny)

convex_mirror (905839) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340273)

I always knew that the milky way was a bar, and that it is filled with nougat.

Re:Isn't it obvious? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340383)

Now science can turn to figuring out what nougat is.

Re:Isn't it obvious? (1)

convex_mirror (905839) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340423)

I believe it was Carl Sagan who said "We are all made of nougat." Right before he slipped into that trance where he proclaimed in a chorus of voices:
First there will be the great descent, where the metal spiral that binds you in place unfurls and you are pushed out into the dark.
Next there will be the moment of rest in an empty bin
Then the great hand will come forth and bang open the way that was closed and grasp the galaxy in its meaty, sweaty palm.
We shall all meet our end inside the mouth of the destroyer.

Aaaw crap... (4, Funny)

lobsterGun (415085) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340284)

...looks like I'm going to have to get new business cards.

RE: The Milky Way is Not a Spiral? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340288)

No. It's a galaxy.

No way (5, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340290)

The fact the milky way is a normal spiral is a fundamental tenet of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and this new evidenc is just a theory. I demand that people continue to teach my older (wrong) alternative theory.

Obligatory Homer Quote (3, Funny)

LocutusMIT (10726) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340298)

... the Milky Way is in fact a barred spiral!

Mmmmmm... Milky Way Bar...

This has been suspected for a long time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340304)

My old astronomy textbook, at least, already says that the Milky Way is probably a spiral. A quick search on the NASA ADS shows this being proposed to explain measurements as far back as 1975: Peters, W.L. Astrophysical Journal, vol. 195, Feb. 1, 1975, pt. 1, p. 617-629

This neighborhood is going to hell (1, Funny)

liquid stereo (602956) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340312)

I'm moving. Where's Dubya and his infinite improbability drive!!!

Re:This neighborhood is going to hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340456)

Everywhere!

Please mod (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340457)

What? What do barred galaxies, George W. Bush, and HHTTG have in common? What in the world made you think they would be funny when combined?

The joke-creating part of your brain needs a QC department. Stat.

Old news (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340325)

This is actually more of a confirmation of prior work. See the following, for example, which dates back two years.

Title: The Galactic Bar
Authors: Merrifield, M. R.
Journal: Milky Way Surveys: The Structure and Evolution of our Galaxy, Proceedings of ASP Conference #317. The 5th Boston University Astrophysics Conference held 15-17 June, 2003 at Boston University, Boston, MA, USA. Edited by Dan Clemens, Ronak Shah, and Teresa Brainerd. San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2004., p.289

Abstract:
Like the majority of spiral galaxies, the Milky Way contains a central non-axisymmetric bar component. Our position in the Galactic plane renders it rather hard to see, but also allows us to make measurements of the bar that are completely unobtainable for any other system. This paper reviews the evidence for a bar that can be gleaned from the many extensive surveys of both gas and stars in the Milky Way. We introduce some simplified models to show how the basic properties of the bar can be inferred in a reasonably robust manner despite our unfavorable location, and how the complex geometry can be used to our advantage to obtain a unique three-dimensional view of the bar. The emerging picture of the Galactic bar is also placed in the broader context of current attempts to understand how such structures form and evolve in spiral galaxies.

Known for decades (5, Informative)

Xerxes314 (585536) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340328)

The blurb is very poorly informed. The bar structure of the Milky Way has been known for decades. Not only does a cursory search of the Harvard Astrophysics database yield a 1992 paper on the subject, but the Wikipedia article on the Milky Way clearly describes its structure as SBbc (loosely wound barred spiral).

Next week, I'm sure we'll all be thrilled to learn that the sky is blue. Rewrite the textbooks!

Re:Known for decades (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340417)

Wikipedia article on the Milky Way clearly describes its structure as SBbc (loosely wound barred spiral).
Plus, it's right there in [[Category:Barred spiral galaxies]]

Maybe the sky isn't blue, either (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340463)

A recent article [msn.com] points out that the sky is actually a range of wavelengths which we perceive as "blue" because of color mixing in the eye. So it's not just a special property of that frequency of blue, but rather an illusion that nets out to that blue.

Re:Known for decades (2, Interesting)

ferat (971) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340493)

The new research shows it to be about 7000 light years longer than previously thought, and at a 45 degree angle. That is what was new, not that the bar was there in the first place. I agree, poorly written blurb.

Saw it on the tribune earlier:

http://www.startribune.com/stories/1556/5564676.ht ml [startribune.com]

Re:Known for decades (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340499)

Well, it's been known for decades that the sky isn't blue, it's Carolina blue.

Re:Known for decades (2, Informative)

Tethys_was_taken (813654) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340506)

Heh, it says that right in the beginning of the SPACE.com article.

A new infrared survey that claims to be the most comprehensive structural analysis of our galaxy confirms previous evidence for a central bar of stars.


You can't confirm somehing if you didn't already suspect it, right? It is just a small issue though. What actually is a new discovery (I think. IANAA) is this

The bar is embedded in the center of the galaxy's spiral arms and cuts across the heart of it all where a supermassive black hole resides. The survey found that the bar is longer than thought and sits at a sharp angle to the galaxy's main plane.


I'm not sure what the ramifications are, but it must make a huge difference to astrophyicists, astronomers and the like. Anyone care to educate the rest of /. on why this is significant?

Man, Now I Have To Change My Mailing Address (1)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340341)

I hate when the government rezones things without enough of a warning!

you are mistaken (1)

fbartho (840012) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340419)

the plans have been in your local town center on display for 20 years. Since you've had a lifetime of warning, you shouldn't be surprised.

So which is it? (1)

jjthe2 (684242) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340348)

The title says the Milky Way is not a spiral, and the post goes on to say it is a barred spiral. But the wikipedia link starts with "A barred spiral galaxy is a spiral galaxy..." So the title should be: "The Milky Way is a Spiral."

Still a spirl... (4, Funny)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340349)

Don't you guys know anything about object oriented programming? A barred spiral inherits from spiral:

e.g.

public class CBarredSpiral : CSpiral

Re:Still a spirl... (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340447)

You think you are being smart now, but you overlook another possiblity.

Non-bar spiral galaxies are just a special case of the barred spiral with a bar length of less than epsilon.

It is not proof. (2, Funny)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340353)

As the article said, "May." We need to send someone outside the galaxy, so they can look and make a positive determination.

Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340358)

The evidence that the Milky Way is a barred spiral has been accumlating for the last 20 years or so. This hardly galaxy shattering news.

gcc not a compiler? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340368)

In other news...
RTFA writes "dot.com reports that new data from the Spitter Compiler Telescope showing that the GCC is in fact a C compiler! Looks like all our old programming textbooks will have to be thrown away..."

Textbooks (1)

hamfactorial (857057) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340370)

There's no need to worry about throwing your books away! The publishers will just do a simple find/replace for "spiral" and slap another edition revision on there. Update the front cover and BAM, University students the world over feel the impact of this new discovery.

rest (1, Funny)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340371)

Well, I'm certainly glad they cleared that one up. I can't tell you the sleepless nights I've spent wondering if I existed in a spiral vs a barred spiral galaxy. With answers to such fundamental questions like these pouring forth, I'm sure our friends in Washington will continue to confiscate my property to fund their efforts.

Not sure how... (1)

graemecoates (592009) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340378)

...you can claim that the milky way is not a spiral, and then go on to say it could be a barred spiral... A barred spiral is a spiral with a bar (usually) through the centre!

Now if you'd said the Milky Way is an elliptical or irregular, then it'd be a different matter (and against the current scientific data that indicates otherwise).

What's interesting is the 45 degree tilt claim - I think that could be fairly rare (though probably not unsurprising given the amount of gravitational interaction our galaxy has with its numerous companions, some of which it is currently consuming...). However, I am not a galactic dynamicist...

Hold on... (2, Insightful)

wanerious (712877) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340420)

The "throw away the textbooks" comment is a little snarky. The text I currently use, as well as most of the others in use, describe the Milky Way as *possibly* having some kind of barred shape, as there has been evidence along these lines for years. Books evolve. 15-year old books don't have much to difinitively say on the cosmological constant, either, though they may be perfectly good texts on all other phenomena.

headline: The Milky ways is Not a spiral (1)

demon411 (827680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340434)

from wikipedia "A barred spiral galaxy is a spiral galaxy" umm...

Re:headline: The Milky ways is Not a spiral (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340487)

But a spiral(adj) galaxy is not a spiral(noun).

That explains a lot! (4, Funny)

ClippyHater (638515) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340437)

Everyone's said my directions suck. I kept telling them, "It's a huge spiral, you can't miss it!", and they keep calling me a useless monkey-boy who couldn't navigate my way into a black hole.

How Come... (4, Funny)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340498)

...there are no pictures of the Milky Way from space? Whenever I've Googled for pictures of the Milky Way, I either get artist renderings or these stupid pictures of a strip of the night sky. Since we've supposedly went into space a lot of time, we should have good photos of the Milky Way from space. Even moreso since the Voyager spacecraft left the universe a year or so ago. When the voyager left our universe, it should have had a great shot of the entire galaxy and all it's planets. I mean, the universe is what... like ten million miles wide or something, right?

Old textbooks? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340512)

Looks like all our old astronomy textbooks will have to be thrown away..."

Along with the old physics, paleonthology, biology, etc. are thrown away everytime a theory's proven wrong.

Anyway, astronomy textbooks should be dumped regularly. Just look at the most recent findings in astronomy: Supermassive black holes, Planet X, black holes hidden behind clouds of dust... I wonder what new astronomical discovery appears next month.

Well, that will make things easier... (1)

Zangief (461457) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340513)

For the psicohistorians. No clues about where the Second Foundation is, based on the form of the galaxy.

Happy Hour (1)

truckaxle (883149) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340517)

In fact I hear it has a bar at the center.

I say we all hit it for happy hour this friday and check out the intragalactic chicks!



Marie Sharps is hot [sammcgees.com]

Old news if you follow space stuff (2, Interesting)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 9 years ago | (#13340521)

or even if you don't. They've been saying for a while that the data points towars a barred spiral and the only thing I'm seeing that is new is the 45 degree bit which isn't unusual in barred spirals. There's a good number with folded bar layout already in the catalogs. We are pretty sure that the galaxy has eaten other smaller dwarfs and possibly one or more larger ones earlier on, but the upcoming Andromeda collision is going to be the big one. Too bad we'll be extinct through evolution or as one large Darwin Award by then.

American Astronomical Society issues a statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13340522)

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has issued the following statement:

"In light of this development, any further mention of the Milky Way galaxy being a spiral galaxy is hereby barred"
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