At the Heart of the Milky Way

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Science  04 Feb 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5710, pp. 686-687
DOI: 10.1126/science.1100793

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The center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, contains unique magnetic structures that remain incompletely understood. In their Perspective, Lazio and LaRosa review advances toward characterizing and understanding these structures. Recent observations at radio and submillimeter wavelengths have revealed that the magnetic filaments are more widespread than previously thought, and also exhibit a geometric complexity not accounted for in current models of the magnetic environment at the galactic center. Observations at even higher resolution and sensitivity will be required to understand fully the origin, properties, and role of the magnetic field at the galactic center.