The Milky Way Lost Half Its ArmsS

The newspapers, full of speculation on the precise timing of Hillary Clinton's exit, missed the big story of the week. Our galaxy-in which the Clintons and all other human beings are such insignificant motes-has a gigantic bar at its center from which the arms spin off like sparks from a Catherine Wheel. And, rather disturbingly, scientists also now suspect that they overcounted the number of spirals in the Milky Way. There are two, rather than four-which puts any argument about delegate counts into perspective. Click the thumb for a new picture of the near universe. Meanwhile, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-sized planet around another star.