Latest Milky Way Galaxy Stories

2008-12-10 07:55:00

In a 16-year long study, using several of ESO's flagship telescopes, a team of German astronomers has produced the most detailed view ever of the surroundings of the monster lurking at our Galaxy's heart "” a supermassive black hole. The research has unraveled the hidden secrets of this tumultuous region by mapping the orbits of almost 30 stars, a five-fold increase over previous studies. One of the stars has now completed a full orbit around the black hole. By watching the motions of...

2008-11-18 09:10:00

Astronomers have used two different telescopes simultaneously to study the violent flares from the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way. They have detected outbursts from this region, known as Sagittarius A*, which reveal material being stretched out as it orbits in the intense gravity close to the central black hole. The team of European and US astronomers used ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope, both in Chile, to study...

2008-09-03 13:45:00

Radio dishes in 3 states create virtual telescope 2,800 miles across An international team, led by astronomers at the MIT Haystack Observatory, has obtained the closest views ever of what is believed to be a super-massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The astronomers linked together radio dishes in Hawaii, Arizona and California to create a virtual telescope more than 2,800 miles across that is capable of seeing details more than 1,000 times finer than the Hubble Space...

2008-08-13 18:00:09

By Luntz, Stephen The Milky Way has been dubbed a galactic cannibal before (AS, September 1998, p.5), but new evidence is making it look like a stellar Hannibal Lecter. The latest reports of the Milky Way's consumption of the Sagittarius Elliptical Dwarf Galaxy, observed by astronomers from the Australian National University, follow observations of the effects of our galaxy's gravity on the Magellenic clouds (AS, April 2008, p.43). "The Sagittarius dwarf is a cosmic lightweight weighing...

2008-06-03 14:25:00

For decades, astronomers have been blind to what our galaxy, the Milky Way, really looks like. After all, we sit in the midst of it and can't step outside for a bird's eye view.Now, new images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope are shedding light on the true structure of the Milky Way, revealing that it has just two major arms of stars instead of the four it was previously thought to possess."Spitzer has provided us with a starting point for rethinking the structure of the Milky Way," said...

2008-04-15 09:50:00

Using NASA, Japanese, and European X-ray satellites, a team of Japanese astronomers has discovered that our galaxy's central black hole let loose a powerful flare three centuries ago.The finding helps resolve a long-standing mystery: why is the Milky Way's black hole so quiescent? The black hole, known as Sagittarius A* (pronounced "A-star"), is a certified monster, containing about 4 million times the mass of our Sun. Yet the energy radiated from its surroundings is billions of times weaker...

2007-03-13 10:01:43

New Globular Cluster Found in Milky Way Images made with ESO's New Technology Telescope at La Silla by a team of German astronomers reveal a rich circular cluster of stars in the inner parts of our Galaxy. Located 30,000 light-years away, this previously unknown closely-packed group of about 100,000 stars is most likely a new globular cluster. Star clusters provide us with unique laboratory conditions to investigate various aspects of astrophysics. They represent groups of stars with similar...

2007-01-11 09:25:00

Like cold case investigators, astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to uncover evidence of a powerful outburst from the giant black hole at the Milky Way's center. A light echo was produced when X-ray light generated by gas falling into the Milky Way's supermassive black hole, known as Sagittarius A* (pronounced "A-star"), was reflected off gas clouds near the black hole. While the primary X-rays from the outburst would have reached Earth about 50 years ago, the reflected...

2006-06-10 09:45:00

A long, slender stream of ancient stars has been discovered racing across the northern sky. The stream is about 30,000 light-years distant from Earth and is flowing high over the Milky Way Galaxy at some 230 kilometers per second, or more than half a million miles per hour. The discovery was made by Dr. Carl Grillmair, of the Spitzer Science Center in Pasadena, Calif. and his colleague Odysseas Dionatos from the Astronomical Observatory of Rome. Grillmair presented his findings at the...

2006-01-27 00:00:00

Cambridge, MA - TV reality show contestants aren't the only ones under threat of exile. Astronomers using the MMT Observatory in Arizona have discovered two stars exiled from the Milky Way galaxy. Those stars are racing out of the Galaxy at speeds of more than 1 million miles per hour - so fast that they will never return. "These stars literally are castaways," said Smithsonian astronomer Warren Brown (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics). "They have been thrown out of their home...

Latest Milky Way Galaxy Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Milky Way Galaxy -- The Milky Way (a translation of the Latin Via Lactea, in turn derived from the Greek Galaxia (gala, galactos means "milk")) is a hazy band of white light across the night sky formed by billions of stars in the disc of our galaxy. The Milky Way appears brightest in the direction of Sagittarius, where the galactic centre lies. Relative to the celestial equator, the Milky Way passes as far north as the constellation of Cassiopeia and as far south as the constellation of...

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Word of the Day
  • A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.
This word is a diminutive of the Latin 'luna,' moon.