Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
A preprint paper, published today on the astro-ph website but also accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, has confirmed what scientists have suspected about the dust and gas between the stars: As you travel closer to the center of the Milky Way galaxy this interstellar medium gets increasingly enriched with heavy elements. The scientists believe this is because the higher rate of supernovae in the inner galaxy sprays space with more of these atoms.
Since the field of extrasolar planets has also found that the more heavy elements a star contains, the more chance it will have planets, the new results above suggest that we will find more planets as we look inward towards the galactic center.