Latest Local Group Stories

andromeda galaxy
2014-09-20 05:19:03

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online When galaxies grow too massive to continue making their own stars, they begin cannibalizing other nearby galaxies, experts from the University of Western Australia and an international team of colleagues reported this week in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Dr. Aaron Robotham, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research...

supermassive black hole
2014-09-18 04:40:12

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using the Hubble Space Telescope and other instruments, astronomers from the University of Utah and an international team of colleagues have discovered a supermassive black hole in the ultracompact dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1, making it the smallest galaxy ever found to host one of these enormous light-sucking objects. [ Watch the Video: Artist’s Impression Of Dwarf Galaxy M60-UCD1′s Formation ] Anil Seth, an assistant professor of...

2014-09-17 16:20:50

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Astronomers using data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and ground observation have found an unlikely object in an improbable place -- a monster black hole lurking inside one of the tiniest galaxies ever known. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO The black hole is five times the mass of the one at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. It is inside one of the densest galaxies known to date -- the M60-UCD1 dwarf...

messier 54
2014-09-11 03:00:30

Richard Hook, ESO VLT observations of Messier 54 show the lithium problem also applies outside our galaxy This new image from the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile shows a vast collection of stars, the globular cluster Messier 54. This cluster looks very similar to many others but it has a secret. Messier 54 doesn’t belong to the Milky Way, but is part of a small satellite galaxy, the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy. This unusual parentage has now allowed...

dramatic star formation regions
2014-08-20 06:03:47

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The Wide Field Imager at the ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile has captured new images of two dramatic regions of star formation in the southern Milky Way, one of which features a Wolf–Rayet multiple star system. [ Watch: Zooming In On Star Formation In The Southern Milky Way ] Wolf-Rayet stars, the ESO explains, are at an advanced stage of stellar evolution and begin with a mass approximately 20 times that of the sun....

Arecibo gas bridge
2014-08-08 06:43:44

Royal Astronomical Society Astronomers and students have found a bridge of atomic hydrogen gas 2.6 million light years long between galaxies 500 million light years away. They detected the gas using the William E. Gordon Telescope at the Arecibo Observatory, a radio astronomy facility of the US National Science Foundation sited in Puerto Rico. The team published their results Thursday in a paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The stream of atomic hydrogen gas is...

Messier 33
2014-08-06 11:14:16

ESO Messier 33, otherwise known as NGC 598, is located about three million light-years away in the small northern constellation of Triangulum (The Triangle). Often known as the Triangulum Galaxy it was observed by the French comet hunter Charles Messier in August 1764, who listed it as number 33 in his famous list of prominent nebulae and star clusters. However, he was not the first to record the spiral galaxy; it was probably first documented by the Sicilian astronomer Giovanni Battista...

2014-07-31 12:21:53

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have unexpectedly discovered the most distant galaxy that acts as a cosmic magnifying glass. Seen here as it looked 9.6 billion years ago, this monster elliptical galaxy breaks the previous record-holder by 200 million years. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO These "lensing" galaxies are so massive that their gravity bends, magnifies, and distorts light from...

milky way mass
2014-07-31 04:03:47

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online For the first time, astronomers have been able to precisely measure the mass of the Milky Way, and have discovered that our solar system's home is actually smaller than previously believed. As reported this month in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, researchers from the University of Edinburgh, the University of British Colombia, Carnegie Mellon University and NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics...

elliptical galaxy Centaurus A
2014-07-23 05:23:04

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The Hubble Space Telescope is a joint project between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) that launched in 1990. Since then, it has returned thousands of images from its orbital position above the atmosphere, helping scientists to shed light on some of the mysteries of the cosmos. Hubble images prove that there is more to a galaxy than what first meets the eye. The telescope is able to look beyond the bright glow of a galaxy's...

Latest Local Group Reference Libraries

2010-09-16 15:14:03

The two Magellanic Clouds (or Nubeculae Magellani), composed of the Large Megellanic Cloud and the Small Magellanic Cloud, are irregular dwarf galaxies visible in the southern hemisphere. They are members of our Local Group and orbit the Milky Way galaxy. Persian astronomer Al Sufi, in 964, was the first to have written anything about the Magellanic Clouds proving they have been known since early time amongst the Middle East peoples. Sufi, in his Book of Fixed Stars, calls the clouds...

2010-09-13 17:05:00

The Local Group, compromising more than 30 galaxies (including dwarf galaxies and the Milky Way), is a group of galaxies with a gravitational center located somewhere between the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy. With a binary (dumbbell) shape and a total mass of (1.29 ± 0.14) × 1012M the Local group covers a 10 million light-year diameter. The local group is part of the Virgo Supercluster. The two largest galaxies in the group are the Milky Way and the Andromeda both Spiral...

2010-09-13 16:59:36

The IC 342/Maffei Group (also known as the IC 342 Group or the Maffei 1 Group) is the closest group of galaxies to the Local Group. The member galaxies are both concentrated around the two brightest galaxies of IC 342 and Maffei 1. The group can therefore be described as a binary group. Along with many others the group is located in the Virgo Supercluster.

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Ring Galaxy -- A subclass of interacting galaxies, ring galaxies, provides a unique laboratory for studying unusually large bursts of non-nuclear star formation. The rings in these systems are often large (10s of kiloparsecs) and contain what appear to be associations of giant H{\small II} regions. As a basis for future modeling of star forming regions in observed ring galaxies we present a series of combined n-body/gas numerical experiments on ring formation and evolution. Three...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Irregular Galaxy -- In astronomy, a class of galaxy with little structure, which does not conform to any of the standard shapes in the Hubble classification. The two satellite galaxies of the Milky Way, the Magellanic Clouds, are both irregulars. Some galaxies previously classified as irregulars are now known to be normal galaxies distorted by tidal effects or undergoing bursts of star formation (see starburst galaxy). ----- NASA Click here to learn more on this topic from...

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Word of the Day
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'