Latest Milky Way Stories

Aircraft Telescope Images Ring Of Dust Surrounding Black Hole
2013-07-10 13:34:10

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers using a telescope attached to a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft have captured new images of a ring of gas and dust seven light-years in diameter surrounding the super-massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The team used NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) to capture images of our galaxy's circumnuclear ring (CNR), as well as a neighboring cluster of extremely luminous young stars known...

NASA SOFIA Images Massive Star Cluster
2013-07-10 12:37:44

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA astronomers have taken new images of a recently born star cluster sitting in the W3 region about 6,400 light years away from Earth. The new star cluster, named W3A, is seen in the images floating in the depths of the large gas and dust cloud from which it formed. A close-up image taken by NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) shows the violent interaction zone around the massive star cluster. The...

ALMA Scan Reveals Embryonic Star Formation
2013-07-10 05:07:12

[ Watch the Video: Zooming in on the Birth of a Monster Star ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers used ESO's Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter array (ALMA) to gain one of the best views yet of a star in the process of forming. The embryonic monster star sits inside Spitzer Dark Cloud (SDC) 335.579-0.292 right now, which contains over 500 times the mass of the Sun. Astronomers say the cloud will be giving birth to a very brilliant star with up to...

Astronomers Catch Distant Galaxy Snacking On Gas
2013-07-04 13:01:16

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers were recently able to catch a distant galaxy in the act of snacking on nearby gas while using the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT). The team wrote in the journal Science about how they were able to make the best direct observational evidence so far supporting the theory that galaxies pull in and devour nearby material to grow and form stars. Scientists have always suspected galaxies grow this...

Spiral Galaxies Larger Than Thought
2013-06-27 13:50:10

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers now say spiral galaxies like the Milky Way galaxy are actually larger than previously thought. Scientists from several universities used the Hubble Space Telescope to determine that normal spiral galaxies are surrounded by halos of gas that can extend to over one million light-years in diameter. With this new estimate, it brings the Milky Way from just 100,000 light-years across to roughly 1,100,000 light-years. The...

Mapping The Skies In 3D Gets Help From University Of Colorado
2013-06-26 13:16:46

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The University of Colorado has announced it is becoming a full partner of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-IV (SDSS-IV), looking to help in efforts to map the entire sky in three dimensions. The program began in 2000 and has currently mapped about 50 percent of the visible northern sky in three dimensions. In the process of creating this map, the project has identified almost 500 million astronomical objects, including asteroids, stars,...

University Of Utah Joins Sky Survey’s Fourth Phase With W.L. Eccles Grant
2013-06-25 12:01:02

University of Utah University of Utah astronomers will participate in a six-year project to study the formation of our Milky Way galaxy; map stars, gas and supermassive black holes in 10,000 neighbor galaxies; and chart 1 million galaxies and quasars to learn about mysterious “dark energy” that makes the universe expand. Five years after joining the third phase of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, or SDSS-III, Utah’s largest research university is signing up for the fourth phase of...

Galactic Raw Material Plays Crucial Role In Star Formation
2013-06-25 08:28:48

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online New observation using an Australian telescope has offered up evidence of the raw material that played a part in forming some of the first stars in galaxies when the Universe was just three billion years old. The observations were made using CSIRO’s Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) near Narrabri, New South Wales. “[This is] one of very few telescopes in the world that can do such difficult work, because it is both...

New Hubble Image Shows Interacting Galaxies
2013-06-20 18:59:33

Lee Rannals for redorbit.com — Your Universe Online New images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of a pair of galaxies experiencing a close encounter have been released. The new image features interacting galaxies known as Arp 142. These galaxies have strayed a little too close to each other, causing them to interact and create big changes in both objects. Astronomers say the two galaxies are interacting violently by exchanging matter and causing havoc. Arp 142 was named...

Latest Milky Way Reference Libraries

2010-09-16 15:18:29

The Virgo Cluster consists of galaxies at a distance of around 59 Mly away in the constellation Virgo. Containing between 1300 to 2000 galaxies the Virgo Cluster is the heart of the Local Supercluster. Its mass is estimated at 1.2 × 1015 M☉ out to 8 degrees of the cluster's center or a radius of about 2.2 Mpc. Most of the brighter galaxies in the cluster were discovered by Charles Messier in the late 1770's and early 1780's, including the giant elliptical Messier 87. Messier...

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 16:24:54

At a distance of 3.9 Mpc from the Milky Way, the Sculptor Group is one of nearest groups of galaxies to the Local Gropu. Sculptor is made up of a loose group of galaxies near the south galactic pole. The Sculptor Galaxy (NGC 253) and a few other galaxies form a gravitationally-bound core in the center of this group, however, since they are only weakly bound the group may also be described as a filament. There also some other galaxies associated with the group but not gravitationally...

2004-10-19 04:45:44

Aquila (the Eagle) Constellation -- Location: Northern Hemisphere; Coordinates: Right Ascension: 20h; Declination: 05; Source: Various cultures - Greek, Arab, Persian, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean The story behind the name In the ancient Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures, the constellation Aquila is seen as the shape of a flying bird. The pattern contains three prominent stars that can be seen to outline the wings of a bird, but are also the focus of quite different myths...

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Word of the Day
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.