Latest Milky Way Stories

Ring Of Fire In Messier 94 Galaxy
2013-05-19 08:20:24

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Johnny Cash may have preferred this galaxy's burning ring of fire to the one he sang about falling into in his popular song. The "starburst ring" seen at center in red and yellow hues is not the product of love, as in the song, but is instead a frenetic region of star formation. The galaxy, a spiral beauty called Messier 94, is located about 17 million light-years away. In this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, infrared light is represented in...

Clouds Of Hydrogen Gas Found In Our Galactic Backyard
2013-05-08 12:37:51

Watch the video “Intergalactic Clouds Lurk Between Nearby Galaxies" John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online As we gaze into space beyond the confines of our own Milky Way, we see a Universe filled with galaxies. But what scientists have come to realize is that the emptiness that spans between these giant pools of stars is not empty at all, but rather is filled with massive amounts of gas. In fact, these gas reservoirs can sometimes outweigh the galaxies...

Sagittarius A Black Hole To Devour Hot Molecular Gas
2013-05-07 12:42:37

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The European Space Agency's (ESA) Herschel spacecraft has revealed that the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy is about to get a taste of some hot molecular gas. Sagittarius A has a mass of about four million times that of our Sun and sits about 26,000 light-years away from us. It is a few hundred times closer to us than any other galaxy with an active black hole at its center, making it ideal for studying these...

Pinpointing Radio Wave Origins In The Distant Universe
2013-05-01 05:04:41

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online For the first time, astronomers have identified discrete sources that account for nearly all of the radio waves coming from distant galaxies. This was achieved by more than 50 hours of observations with the ultra-sensitive Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA). The researchers found that approximately 63 percent of the background radio emission comes from galaxies with gorging black holes at their cores. The remaining 37 percent...

New Method More Accurately Measures Far-Off Worlds
2013-04-26 05:17:39

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online One commonly used method in astronomy is to study spectra and light curves from stars and compare the data to known values, allowing researchers to derive information such as chemical composition, size, and surface temperature. The trouble with this method is it only works on stars that are bright enough or close enough to study in detail. Unfortunately, this precludes nearly three-quarters of the stellar population,...

Hubble Provides Evidence That Galaxies Do Not Confine Starbursts
2013-04-25 08:22:14

WATCH VIDEOS: [Animation of a Starburst Galaxy] | [Probing a Galactic Halo] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Astronomers writing in The Astrophysical Journal say they've observed how bursts of star formation have a major impact beyond the boundaries of their host galaxy. When galaxies form new stars, they can create frantic episodes of activity known as starbursts. Scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope say these events can affect galactic gas at...

Galaxy Forms New Stars With Extreme Efficiency
2013-04-23 18:18:31

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Efficiency experts and green technology proponents can now look to the heavens for inspiration, as astronomers have identified a galaxy that forms stars at almost 100 percent efficiency. According to a new report in Astrophysical Journal Letters, telltale signs from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), the Hubble Space Telescope and the Plateau de Bure interferometer at the Institut de Radioastronomie...

Young Universe Was A Massive Factory For Star Formation
2013-04-17 13:36:09

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Astronomers say they have discovered a star factory in a galaxy so distant that they see it when the Universe was only six percent of its current age of about 13.7 billion years old. The team wrote in the journal Nature that HFLS3 sits at about 12.8 billion light-years from Earth. They said the distant galaxy is producing about 3,000 Suns per year, which is more than 2,000 times that of our own Milky Way galaxy. "This is the...

Blue Supergiant Star Born In The Wild Discovered
2013-04-11 15:09:53

Subaru Telescope A duo of astronomers, Dr. Youichi Ohyama (Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica or ASIAA, Taiwan) and Dr. Ananda Hota (UM-DAE Centre for Excellence in the Basic Sciences or CBS, India), has discovered a Blue Supergiant star located far beyond our Milky Way Galaxy in the constellation Virgo. Over fifty-five million years ago, it emerged in an extremely wild environment, surrounded by intensely hot plasma (a million degrees centigrade) and amidst raging...

Scientists Discover The Earliest Known Starburst Galaxies In The Universe
2013-04-05 15:32:28

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An international team of researchers announced it has found some of the Universe´s earliest starburst galaxies, essentially young energetic clusters of cosmic gas and dust that form stars at an alarming rate. The discoveries, which were detailed in reports published in Nature and the Astrophysical Journal, were made using the newly inaugurated Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope. In its first billions...

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
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.