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Milky Way Galaxy Mass Only Half As Large As Previously Thought, Astronomers Say

Milky Way Galaxy Mass Only Half As Large As Previously Thought, Astronomers Say

By Govert Schilling
Posted: 01/11/2013 1:06 pm EST

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA—Suppose you stepped on the scales one morning to find that you weighed only half as much as the day before. You'd check the scales, right? In fact, a weight loss of cosmic proportions is exactly what happened when Alis Deason recalibrated the scales used to weigh our Milky Way galaxy. "We find the Milky Way is only half as massive as generally assumed," says Deason, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who presented her new estimate here at the 221st meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

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