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Latest Galactic Center Stories

85928521a58ab2a97c0db1ba3494f29f1
2009-09-22 09:30:00

A dramatic new vista of the center of the Milky Way galaxy from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory exposes new levels of the complexity and intrigue in the Galactic center. The mosaic of 88 Chandra pointings represents a freeze-frame of the spectacle of stellar evolution, from bright young stars to black holes, in a crowded, hostile environment dominated by a central, supermassive black hole. Permeating the region is a diffuse haze of X-ray light from gas that has been heated to millions of...

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2009-09-21 08:25:00

The second of three images of ESO's GigaGalaxy Zoom project has just been released online. It is a new and wonderful 340-million-pixel vista of the central parts of our home galaxy as seen from ESO's Paranal Observatory with an amateur telescope. This 34 by 20-degree wide image provides us with a view as experienced by amateur astronomers around the world. However, its incredible beauty and appeal owe much to the quality of the observing site and the skills of St©phane Guisard, the...

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2009-07-23 12:55:00

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has imaged a wild creature of the dark -- a coiled galaxy with an eye-like object at its center. The galaxy, called NGC 1097, is located 50 million light-years away. It is spiral-shaped like our Milky Way, with long, spindly arms of stars. The "eye" at the center of the galaxy is actually a monstrous black hole surrounded by a ring of stars. In this color-coded infrared view from Spitzer, the area around the invisible black hole is blue and the ring of stars,...

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2009-07-23 09:33:53

A team of researchers working with data from ESA's Integral gamma-ray observatory has disproved theories that some form of dark matter explains mysterious radiation in the Milky Way. That this radiation exists has been known since the 1970s, and several theories have been proposed to explain it. Integral's unprecedented spectral and spatial resolution showed that it strongly peaks towards the center of the Galaxy, with an asymmetry along the Galactic disc. Several researchers have...

7fbe0196e2a619724c5f0fe1f12b9c35
2009-07-01 15:45:00

Scientists have discovered a new class of black hole that stands at a mass of more than 500 times that of the Sun. An international team of astronomers detailed the new discovery found in a galaxy some 290 million light years from Earth in the journal Nature. The team used the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory to find HLX-1 (Hyper-Luminous X-ray source 1) that could stand as the "missing link" between supermassive black holes "“ several million to several billion...

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2009-07-01 10:45:00

Astronomers have unveiled an unprecedented new atlas of the inner regions of the Milky Way, our home galaxy, peppered with thousands of previously undiscovered dense knots of cold cosmic dust "” the potential birthplaces of new stars. Made using observations from the APEX telescope in Chile, this survey is the largest map of cold dust so far, and will prove an invaluable map for observations made with the forthcoming ALMA telescope, as well as the recently launched ESA Herschel space...

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2009-06-10 13:24:13

Astronomers have at last uncovered newborn stars at the frenzied center of our Milky Way galaxy. The discovery was made using the infrared vision of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The heart of our spiral galaxy is cluttered with stars, dust and gas, and at its very center, a supermassive black hole. Conditions there are harsh, with fierce stellar winds, powerful shock waves and other factors that make it difficult for stars to form. Astronomers have known that stars can form in this chaotic...

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2009-06-04 06:20:00

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have obtained one of the sharpest views ever of the Arches Cluster "” an extraordinary dense cluster of young stars near the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way. Despite the extreme conditions astronomers were surprised to find the same proportions of low- and high-mass young stars in the cluster as are found in more tranquil locations in our Milky Way. The massive Arches Cluster is a rather peculiar star cluster. It is...

ed01827706faf4b73edb9d794e2a26761
2009-01-06 07:40:00

Milky Way Bigger Than Once Thought The Milky Way packs a big punch. In fact, scientists discovered that it is larger than Andromeda - not the little sister it was once thought to be. Scientists mapped the Milky Way in a more detailed, three-dimensional way and found that it's bulkier and spinning faster than astronomers once thought. The Milky Way is denser, with 50 percent more mass, and 15 percent larger in breadth. The research was presented Monday at the American Astronomical Society's...

a0733ee833bfdd77513994f6b97cd1dc1
2008-12-10 07:55:00

In a 16-year long study, using several of ESO's flagship telescopes, a team of German astronomers has produced the most detailed view ever of the surroundings of the monster lurking at our Galaxy's heart "” a supermassive black hole. The research has unraveled the hidden secrets of this tumultuous region by mapping the orbits of almost 30 stars, a five-fold increase over previous studies. One of the stars has now completed a full orbit around the black hole. By watching the motions of...


Latest Galactic Center Reference Libraries

3_b44b7fd989f2076cfeda5fc743f39ab02
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
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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