Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Latest Local Group Stories

When Star Clusters Collide: Hubble
2012-08-16 15:08:22

Watch the Video: Simulation of Star Clusters Encounter Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The Hubble Space Telescope has been keeping its eyes fixed on two clusters full of massive stars that may be in the early stages of merging. The star clusters are about 170,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is a small satellite galaxy to our Milky Way. What was thought to have been just one cluster in the star-forming region commonly referred to as the...

Galaxy Cluster Sets Record For Star Formation
2012-08-15 12:56:18

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers have identified the most massive and luminous galaxy cluster ever found, pumping out 740 new stars per year in the central galaxy. The Phoenix cluster was named after the constellation in which it resides, but its more formal name is SPT-CLJ2344-4243. The galaxy cluster sits seven billion light-years away from Earth, and dwarfs most known clusters.  Aside from its mass and brightness, Michael McDonald, a Hubble...

When Massive Stars Collide, Monsters Are Formed
2012-08-07 13:31:56

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers now believe the "monster stars" located in the nearby galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) were formed through the merger of lighter stars. The team wrote in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society that the group of stars may have formed while smaller stars were in a tight binary system. In 2010, scientists discovered these supermassive stars, one of which is more than 300 times the mass of the...

Stellar Dance Of Ten Billion Years
2012-07-31 12:24:41

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope offers this wonderful view of the crowded stellar encampment called Messier 68 which is a spherical, star-filled region of space known as a globular cluster. Globular clusters to hang together for many billions of years. This is because mutual gravitational attraction among a cluster´s hundreds of thousands or even millions of stars keeps stellar members in check. By looking at the light...

Ancient Spiral Galaxy Observed By Astronomers
2012-07-18 12:42:04

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new discovery may help astronomers peer back in time to when spiral galaxies first began to take their shape. Scientists wrote in the journal Nature that they had found a surprising ancient spiral galaxy known as BX442. The galaxy was found by astronomers who first surveyed 300 distant galaxies using the Hubble Space Telescope. They followed up and confirmed it using detailed observations and analyzes from the W.M. Keck...

Milky Way
2012-06-29 04:45:45

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers from Canada and the U.S. have found that the Milky Way galaxy may have recently had an encounter with one of its surrounding smaller satellite galaxies. “We have found evidence that our Milky Way had an encounter with a small galaxy or massive dark matter structure perhaps as recently as 100 million years ago,” Larry Widrow, professor at Queen´s University in Canada, said in a press release. “We...

2012-06-13 07:58:00

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com According to recent studies with the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope (GBT), a couple celestial neighbor galaxies may have had a close encounter with each other billions of years ago. Astronomers confirmed a disputed 2004 discovery of hydrogen gas streaming between the giant Andromeda Galaxy and the Triangulum Galaxy with their new study. "The properties of this gas indicate that these two galaxies may have passed close together in the...

Milky Way Destined For Head-On Collision
2012-06-05 03:18:55

[ Watch the Video ] NASA astronomers announced on May 31 that they can now predict with certainty the next major cosmic event to affect our galaxy, sun, and solar system: the titanic collision of our Milky Way galaxy with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. The Milky Way is destined to get a major makeover during the encounter, which is predicted to happen four billion years from now. It is likely the sun will be flung into a new region of our galaxy, but our Earth and solar system are in...

Wide-field view of the Andromeda Galaxy
2012-06-02 08:41:25

Unfortunately, stars don't have birth certificates. So, astronomers have a tough time figuring out their ages. Knowing a star's age is critical for understanding how our Milky Way galaxy built itself up over billions of years from smaller galaxies. Jason Kalirai of the Space Telescope Science Institute and The Johns Hopkins University's Center for Astrophysical Sciences, both in Baltimore, Md., has found the next best thing to a star's birth certificate. Using a new technique, Kalirai...

2012-05-31 10:20:08

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA astronomers announced Thursday they can now predict with certainty the next major cosmic event to affect our galaxy, sun, and solar system: the titanic collision of our Milky Way galaxy with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The Milky Way is destined to get a major makeover during the encounter, which is predicted to happen four billion years from now. It is likely...

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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