Latest Local Group Stories

Massive Black Hole Is A Real Heavyweight
2012-11-29 06:42:37

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers have measured the mass of what may be the most massive black hole observed so far by using the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at The University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory. The black hole makes up 14 percent of its galaxy's mass, rather than the usual 0.1 percent, according to the study published in the journal Nature. NGC 1277 is about 220 million light-years away from Earth, and is just ten percent the size and...

Thanksgiving Dinner At The Center Of The Galaxy
2012-11-22 10:33:45

[ Watch the Video: The Diner at the Center of the Galaxy ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA's NuSTAR spacecraft has detected the Milky Way's central black hole eating a Thanksgiving snack. Supermassive black holes like the one in the middle of our galaxy sustain themselves by swallowing stars, planets, asteroids, comets and clouds of gas that wander around the galaxy. The space agency's new spacecraft allowed it to take an observation of the black hole...

Most Distant Galaxy Record Broken
2012-11-15 22:10:07

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Astronomers have found the most distant galaxy ever seen in the universe by using NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. The newly discovered galaxy, named MACS0647-JD, is only a tiny fraction of the size of our Milky Way galaxy, and is observed at 420 million years after the big bang. MACS0647-JD offers a glimpse into what the universe was like when it was just three percent of its present age of 13.7 billion years old....

Chandra X-Ray Observatory Images Star-Making Cluster Cygnus OB2
2012-11-08 09:57:12

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA has released a new image of the Cygnus OB2 star cluster, detailing its structure and evolution. The Milky Way, as well as other galaxies in the universe, are home to numerous young star clusters with hundreds of thousands of hot, massive, young stars known as O and B stars. Cygnus OB2 is one of these clusters that contains no less than 60 O-type stars and upwards of a thousand B-type stars. Using the Chandra X-Ray...

Globular Star Cluster NGC 6362
2012-10-31 06:19:57

[ Video 1 ] | [ Video 2 ] European Southern Observatory Photo Release This colorful view of the globular star cluster NGC 6362 was captured by the Wide Field Imager attached to the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO´s La Silla Observatory in Chile. This new picture, along with a new image of the central region from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, provide the best view of this little-known cluster ever obtained. Globular clusters are mainly composed of tens of thousands of very...

2012-10-29 13:11:49

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers using simulations were able to catch the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) in the act of stealing stars away from its neighbor, the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). The team was trying to look for massive compact halo objects (MACHOs) in order to find out if they could be a major component of dark matter. In order for MACHOs to make up dark matter, they must be so faint that they can't be directly detected. When studying the...

Black Hole Blows Giant Plasma Bubble Like A Child Blowing Bubble Gum
2012-10-29 11:51:02

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online The team at ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, has been pointing their low Frequency Array (or LOFAR) telescope at the sky since 2010, using bands of low frequencies to observe the heavens. With LOFAR, ASTRON is able to look deep into the heavens for signals of galaxies and other far away objects that haven´t yet reached earth. Now, after using a new, international version of LOFAR, called (ILT), the...

Star Stream Serves As Light Snack For Growing Milky Way
2012-10-27 05:56:42

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The Milky Way apparently has one voracious appetite, as researchers from a prominent American university have discovered our home galaxy slowly consuming the remnants of an ancient star cluster. Astronomers from Yale University used the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to locate a stream of stars being slowly ingested by the galaxy. While researchers have previously discovered evidence that the Milky Way has gobbled up dwarf galaxies,...

Monster Galaxy Found
2012-10-25 22:05:33

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online A team of astronomers has grabbed an image of a huge elliptical galaxy with a core that is bigger than any seen before. The team used the Hubble Space Telescope to collect the image of the galaxy, which is about ten times the diameter of the Milky Way galaxy. The galaxy is a member of a class of galaxies with an unusually diffuse core filled without a concentrated peak of light around a central black hole. Viewing the core...

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 fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.