An anonymous reader writes: If you want to look out into the Universe, all you need to do is gather the light it gives off. Unless, of course, there's something in the way. For about 20% of the sky, that's exactly the story. In our own Milky Way galaxy, the neutral gas and dust block most of the visible light everywhere we look, preventing us from observing the Universe beyond. However, although the gas and dust might block visible light, longer wavelengths like radio and infrared can pass right through. Recently NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission mapped the entire sky in the infrared, including the entire galactic plane. It not only found many background galaxies, but it gave us a new window into what's possible. Perhaps, with future missions, we'll discover the cause of the "great attractor" phenomenon after all.
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