Latest Local Group Stories

Hubble Reveals First Visual Evidence Of Milky Way's Formative Years
2013-11-14 16:35:20

HubbleSite NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has provided the first visual evidence showing how our home galaxy, the Milky Way, assembled itself into the majestic pinwheel of stars we see today. Perusing Hubble's deep-sky surveys, astronomers traced 400 galaxies similar to our Milky Way at various stages of construction over a time span of 11 billion years. "For the first time we have direct images of what the Milky Way looked like in the past," said study co-leader Pieter G. van Dokkum...

Hubble Sees Old And Mysterious Cluster
2013-11-14 12:17:16

[ Watch The Video: A Rare and Exotic Intermediate-Mass Black Hole ] NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the best ever image of the globular cluster Messier 15, a gathering of very old stars that orbits the center of the Milky Way. This glittering cluster contains over 100 000 stars, and could also hide a rare type of black hole at its center. This multi-colored firework display is a cluster of stars known as Messier 15, located some...

earliest galaxy ever found
2013-11-01 14:54:20

[ Watch the Video: Lucky Find For Astronomers - Most Distant, Earliest Galaxy Yet ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using data from the recently conducted survey of the early universe performed by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, an international team led by American astronomers has identified the most distant and earliest galaxy ever detected, according to a recently published report in the journal Nature. Although many other more distant candidates for the...

Giant Gas Cloud Magnetic Shield Milky Way
2013-11-01 10:13:00

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Astronomers have discovered a magnetic field deep within the Smith Cloud’s interior that may protect the giant galactic streamer of hydrogen gas during its projected collision with the Milky Way galaxy. The discovery, which was made using the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), could help explain how so-called high velocity clouds (HVCs) remain mostly intact during their mergers with...

Legacy Of The X-ray Universe Preserved With Chandra Data Archive
2013-10-30 07:05:30

NASA Every year, October is designated as American Archive Month. While many people may think “archive” means only dusty books and letters, there are, in fact, many other types of important archives. This includes the use of archives for major telescopes and observatories like NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. The Chandra Data Archive (CDA) plays a central role in the mission by enabling the astronomical community – as well as the general public – access to data collected by...

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...

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
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'