Twisted, Tangled and Turbulent: Magnetic Fields in the Milky Way

If the Milky Way were strewn across a swath of silk and set aflutter in the breeze, it would look something like the rippling images in the gallery above.

But these are representations of our home galaxy, produced from nearly 1,500 days of observations made by the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite. Each of the images above corresponds to a numbered section in this map of the Milky Way:

The colors represent the density of galactic dust emission, from a sparse blue to intense red, and the ripples reveal the orientation of the Milky Way’s magnetic field. There are filaments and clouds, regions of chaos and cohesion, ...

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