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The Way Astronomers Were Misled
spacer Counts of numbers of stars found a thinning out of stars in all directions away from the solar system. This would be expected if we were actually near the dense center. If we were near an edge of the system, more stars would be observed in the direction of the center and fewer toward the edge, so the argument went. The data were correct; it was their interpretation that was at fault. Astronomers had overlooked absorption by gas and dust between the stars. A sort of interstellar fog obscures stars, resulting in the apparent but not real thinning out, and in the erroneous conclusion that the solar system was near the center of the galaxy.

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