James Webb Space Telescope could soon solve mysteries of the Milky Way’s heart

Ever since astronomers first laid their eyes on the sparkling spiral arms of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, they have wondered what processes might drive the evolution of these massive, star-studded structures. Presumably, those same processes are why we see such a stunning diversity of galactic neighborhoods in the observable universe, which contains an estimated 2 trillion galaxies with unique sizes, shapes and compositions. 

So, in an effort to further our understanding of galactic evolution, over 100 astronomers from over 80 institutions around the world have called for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to conduct a multi-epoch, large-area, multi-wavelength survey of the Milky Way’s innermost regions. Decoding the dynamics of the Milky Way’s heart, or Galactic Center (GC), should shed light on what happens in many other galaxies in our universe, too.

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