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102 Galaxies, S-Shaped Structure Found Behind Interstellar Dust Cloud

June 11, 1998

Astronomers have for the first time peeked through a curtain of interstellar dust, known as the Zone of Avoidance, that blocks Earth's view of a fourth of the universe. What they have found so far, said Patricia A. Henning of the University of New Mexico, is 102 previously unknown galaxies and the tantalizing hint of clusters of galaxies forming an immense S-shaped structure beyond the Milky Way. That structure stretches for more than 300 million light-years on the other side of the Milky Way.

Henning told the American Astronomical Society that astronomers penetrated the dust cloud in the center of the Milky Way by using radio telescopes to detect faint signals given off by hydrogen atoms in the distant galaxies.

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Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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