Bizarre spiral object found swirling around Milky Way’s center

As if cracking open a cosmic Russian nesting doll, astronomers have peered into the center of the Milky Way and discovered what appears to be a miniature spiral galaxy, swirling daintily around a single large star.

The star — located about 26,000 light-years from Earth near the dense and dusty galactic center — is about 32 times as massive as the sun and sits within an enormous disk of swirling gas, known as a “protostellar disk.” (The disk itself measures about 4,000 astronomical units wide — or 4,000 times the distance between Earth and the sun).

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