Latest Galactic astronomy Stories

2011-05-23 13:30:00

Stanford University astrophysicist Risa Wechsler andother researchers have found that only four percent of galaxies are similar to the Milky Way galaxy. The team compared the Milky Way to similar galaxies in terms of luminosity and distance to other bright galaxies.  They found that galaxies with two satellites that are as bright and close by as the Milk Way's two closest satellites, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, are hard to come by. According to a press release by the...

2011-04-20 13:08:44

A study of spiral patterns found in galaxies like our Milky Way could overturn the theory of how the spiral arm features form and evolve. The results are being presented by postgraduate student, Robert Grand, at the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales this week. Since 1960s, the most widely accepted explanation has been that the spiral arm features move like a Mexican wave in a crowd, passing through a population of stars that then return to their...

2011-04-13 11:50:00

ESA's Herschel space observatory has revealed that nearby interstellar clouds contain networks of tangled gaseous filaments. Intriguingly, each filament is approximately the same width, hinting that they may result from interstellar sonic booms throughout our Galaxy. The filaments are huge, stretching for tens of light years through space and Herschel has shown that newly-born stars are often found in the densest parts of them. One filament imaged by Herschel in the Aquila region...

2011-03-21 08:25:00

The region around the center of our Milky Way galaxy glows colorfully in this new version of an image taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The data were previously released as part of a long, 120-degree view of the plane our galaxy (see this page). Now, data from the very center of that picture are being presented at a different contrast to better highlight this jam-packed region. In visible-light pictures, it is all but impossible to see the heart of our galaxy, but infrared light...

2010-11-21 15:10:29

Observing the X-ray-bright gas in the halo of the Milky Way, ESA's XMM-Newton has gathered new data which favor a process involving fountains of hot gas in our Galaxy. Such a scenario, with the gas flowing from the galactic disc into the halo where it then condenses into cooler clouds and subsequently falls back to the disc, confirms the importance of supernova explosions in forging the evolution of the interstellar medium and of the entire Galaxy. The interstellar medium (ISM) in the Milky...

2010-10-27 14:25:00

Astronomers have discovered bucket loads of buckyballs in space. They used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to find the little carbon spheres throughout our Milky Way galaxy -- in the space between stars and around three dying stars. What's more, Spitzer detected buckyballs around a fourth dying star in a nearby galaxy in staggering quantities -- the equivalent in mass to about 15 of our moons. Buckyballs, also known as fullerenes, are soccer-ball-shaped molecules consisting of 60 linked carbon...

2010-10-12 12:00:00

A giant star in a faraway galaxy recently ended its life with a dust-shrouded whimper instead of the more typical bang. Ohio State University researchers suspect that this odd event -- the first one of its kind ever viewed by astronomers "“ was more common early in the universe. It also hints at what we would see if the brightest star system in our galaxy became a supernova. In a paper published online in the Astrophysical Journal, Christopher Kochanek, a professor of astronomy at Ohio...

2010-10-06 09:45:00

A new infrared image from ESO's VISTA survey telescope reveals an extraordinary landscape of glowing tendrils of gas, dark clouds and young stars within the constellation of Monoceros (the Unicorn). This star-forming region, known as Monoceros R2, is embedded within a huge dark cloud. The region is almost completely obscured by interstellar dust when viewed in visible light, but is spectacular in the infrared. An active stellar nursery lies hidden inside a massive dark cloud rich in molecules...

2010-09-24 06:30:00

Astronomers have discovered a new, cosmic phenomenon, termed "coreshine," which is revealing new information about how stars and planets come to be. The scientists used data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to measure infrared light deflecting off cores -- cold, dark cocoons where young stars and planetary systems are blossoming. This coreshine effect, which occurs when starlight from nearby stars bounces off the cores, reveals information about their age and consistency. In a new paper,...

2010-09-22 14:40:00

A new image taken with the powerful HAWK-I camera on ESO's Very Large Telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile shows the beautiful barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 in infrared light. NGC 1365 is a member of the Fornax cluster of galaxies, and lies about 60 million light-years from Earth. NGC 1365 is one of the best known and most studied barred spiral galaxies and is sometimes nicknamed the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy because of its strikingly perfect form, with the straight bar and two very...

Latest Galactic astronomy Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Milky Way Galaxy -- The Milky Way (a translation of the Latin Via Lactea, in turn derived from the Greek Galaxia (gala, galactos means "milk")) is a hazy band of white light across the night sky formed by billions of stars in the disc of our galaxy. The Milky Way appears brightest in the direction of Sagittarius, where the galactic centre lies. Relative to the celestial equator, the Milky Way passes as far north as the constellation of Cassiopeia and as far south as the constellation of...

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Word of the Day
  • A blustering, bullying fellow; a pot-valiant braggart; a bully.
This word is named for Draw-Can-Sir, a character in George Villiers' 17th century play The Rehearsal.