Adding to a long list of space mysteries, astronomers have discovered a twisted ring of gas at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
The European Space Agency's Herschel Space Telescope has provided a much clear view of the gaseous ring that stretches more than 600 light-years across the heart of our galaxy. The ring twists in the middle in such a way that it looks like a cosmic infinity sign.
Scientists have looked at the particular region at the center of the Milky Way many times before in the infrared. But when they looked at the high-resolution images using Herschel's sub-millimeter wavelengths, the presence of a ring was quite clear, said Alberto Noriega-Crespo of NASA's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech.
According to astronomers, the gaseous ring is a thick, twisted tube of cold gas mixed with dust, responsible for the birth of new stars. "[The] ring, which is in the plane of our galaxy, looked more like an infinity symbol with two lobes pointing to the side," officials at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. said in a statement.
However, it's still a mystery for scientists that how the ring got twisted. Apart from that, there is another mystery as well: the twisted portion of the new ring does not match up with the real center of our galaxy, wherein lies a huge black hole known as Sagittarius A*.
Here's a look at the mysterious twisted ring.