Latest Milky Way Stories

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...

ESA Shutting Down Planck Space Telescope
2013-10-18 16:29:49

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online After for four years surveying the Universe for the European Space Agency (ESA), the Planck space telescope’s Low Frequency Instrument will be turned off on Saturday, having completed its science operations on October 3. The telescope’s High Frequency Instrument ended operation in January 2012, after conducting five all-sky surveys. With some operational loose ends still to tie up, Planck will finally be switched off next week....

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....

Hostile Weather Balloon At Heart Of Milky Way
2013-10-03 15:13:50

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online We live in relative safety, far away from immense explosions, extreme weather, and chaotic interactions. Of course, I speak of our little corner of the Milky Way, nearly two-thirds of the way out from the galactic center, nestled between two spiral arms. This relatively sparse section of the cosmos stands in stark contracts to the center of the galaxy, where star formation, supernovae and intense space-weather would make life as...

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...

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
  • Having so marked an appearance as easily to be recognized.
This word may come from the Swedish 'kanspak,' quick at recognizing persons or things, or else from confusion with 'conspicuous.'