Astronomers discover ‘Maggie,’ a giant atomic cloud stretching across the Milky Way

Stretching thousands of light-years across the Milky Way, a newly discovered filament of hydrogen named Maggie is one of the biggest structures ever discovered in our galaxy, and researchers think there could be others like it.

A group of astronomers led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy (MPIA) in Germany has spotted something strange on the other side of the Milky Way: a massive filament of hydrogen gas. Hydrogen is both the simplest and the most abundant element in the universe. But hydrogen clouds like this filament can be tough to spot amidst the interstellar medium (ISM), the matter and radiation that lies between star systems in a galaxy, the astronomers explain in their study, which was published in December 2021 in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics