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Latest Local Group Stories

Petal-like Shells And Strange Star Clusters
2013-10-10 11:08:51

[ Watch The Video: Zooming in on PGC 6240 ] [ Watch The Video: Panning across PGC 6240 ] NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope PGC 6240 is an elliptical galaxy that resembles a pale rose in the sky, with hazy shells of stars encircling a very bright center. Some of these shells are packed close to the center of the galaxy, while others are flung further out into space. Several wisps of material have been thrown so far that they appear to be almost detached from the galaxy altogether....

Densest Galaxy Discovered
2013-09-24 15:58:52

[ Watch the Video: Hubble Locates Densest Galaxy Ever ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The distance from our sun to the next closest star, Alpha Centauri, is 25.6 trillion miles. While that may seem far, try to imagine 10,000 stars sitting between the two solar systems, meaning the stars would be spaced about the distance from Earth to Pluto. That’s exactly the scenario in M60-UCD1, a recently discovered 'ultra-compact dwarf galaxy' described in a study by a...

Sleeping Supermassive Black Holes Can Have Periods Of Intense Flare-Ups
2013-09-24 14:01:00

[ Watch the Video: Intense Flare-Ups In Supermassive Black Holes ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Around 2 million years ago, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy erupted in a blaze of glory big enough to leave a residual glow that can still be seen today, according to an upcoming paper to be published in The Astrophysical Journal. The astronomers who conducted the study said their findings support the theory that black holes can ‘awaken from...

Hubble Space Telescope
2013-09-14 03:38:45

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) report that they have solved the mystery of why none of the unusually small galaxies known as “red nuggets” were seen nearby – they were essentially hiding in plain sight. These “red nuggets,” so named because of their miniature size and the fact that they are densely packed with stars of that color, had only been observed in the distant, young...

Milky Way In 3D
2013-09-13 11:09:37

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Because of our location within the Milky Way, it is quite a challenge to get a bird’s eye view of our galaxy. To really get a sense for what our corner of the cosmos really looks like, astronomers have to take detailed measurements of billions of stars and attempt to accurately measure their distance from Earth. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) have now created the most detailed model...

Astronomers Find Peanut Sitting In Middle Of Milky Way
2013-09-12 10:32:13

[ Watch the Video: Artist's Impression Of The Milky Way ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers, publishing two papers in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, say they've found a peanut sitting in the heart of the Milky Way galaxy. Two teams used data from European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes to create a three-dimensional map of the central parts of the Milky Way. While crafting the map they found that the inner regions of the galaxy take on a...

Bizarre Alignment Observed In Butterfly-Shaped Nebulae
2013-09-04 08:57:07

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study by astronomers from the University of Manchester shows how planetary nebulae line up in the sky in the same way. A planetary nebula occurs in the final stages of a star's life when its outer layers begin to stretch out into the surrounding space. Such nebulae can create beautiful objects in the night sky, with some stretching out into an hourglass or butterfly shape. The latest research, published in the Monthly Notices of...

Dwarf Galaxy 'NGC 1232' Caught Ramming Into A Large Spiral
2013-08-14 14:41:32

Chandra X-ray Observatory Observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have revealed a massive cloud of multimillion-degree gas in a galaxy about 60 million light years from Earth. The hot gas cloud is likely caused by a collision between a dwarf galaxy and a much larger galaxy called NGC 1232. If confirmed, this discovery would mark the first time such a collision has been detected only in X-rays, and could have implications for understanding how galaxies grow through similar...


Latest Local Group Reference Libraries

45_9843bacae4e6aaccde9ad6442185fc8e
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...

67_62ac767a66aa75de2afaba1deb05cb8c
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...

0_0c560ad0ccf4d719031a7916437450a5
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.

6_11b0e50afd172f6a61aeda24e25504702
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...

6_d430450f9e0cfd67807619c4bc1fbdf32
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
toccata
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.
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