Latest Milky Way Stories

Bizarre Alignment Observed In Butterfly-Shaped Nebulae
2013-09-04 08:57:07

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study by astronomers from the University of Manchester shows how planetary nebulae line up in the sky in the same way. A planetary nebula occurs in the final stages of a star's life when its outer layers begin to stretch out into the surrounding space. Such nebulae can create beautiful objects in the night sky, with some stretching out into an hourglass or butterfly shape. The latest research, published in the Monthly Notices of...

Milky Way Gas Cloud Creates Multiple Images Of Distant Quasar
2013-08-29 03:49:01

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Using the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) radio telescope system, astronomers have for the first time managed to capture an image of a distant quasar split into multiple images due to the effects of a cloud of ionized gas in the Milky Way. While these events were first predicted some four decades ago, the VLBA has managed to obtain the first evidence of their existence. Using the array, the...

Spitzer Celebrates 10 Years In Space, More To Come
2013-08-24 04:09:38

[ Watch the Video: Spitzer Space Telescope: 10 Years of Innovation ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope will celebrate its 10th anniversary of scientific research on Sunday, the US space agency announced on Friday. Since launching on August 25, 2003, the orbiting infrared observatory has studied various comets and asteroids, analyzed planets and galaxies, counted stars and even discovered the existence of the carbon spheres known...

Not All Rogue Planets Are Born Within Solar Systems
2013-08-20 11:30:55

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A team of astronomers say free-floating planets can be born freely, outside of an existing solar system. Previously, scientists believed free-floating planets, or "rogue planets," must have been ejected from existing planetary systems. However, telescopes at Chalmers University of Technology have helped astronomers discover not all of these rogue planets were created this way, but that some were born free. Scientists believe there...

Dwarf Galaxy 'NGC 1232' Caught Ramming Into A Large Spiral
2013-08-14 14:41:32

Chandra X-ray Observatory Observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have revealed a massive cloud of multimillion-degree gas in a galaxy about 60 million light years from Earth. The hot gas cloud is likely caused by a collision between a dwarf galaxy and a much larger galaxy called NGC 1232. If confirmed, this discovery would mark the first time such a collision has been detected only in X-rays, and could have implications for understanding how galaxies grow through similar...

Magellanic Stream Origins Discovered By Hubble
2013-08-08 15:15:43

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Stretching almost halfway around the Milky Way galaxy, the Magellanic Stream is a ribbon of gas that has puzzled astronomers for decades. Now, using data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), astronomers now believe that they have nailed down its source. Visible from the southern hemisphere, the dwarf galaxies known as the large and small Magellanic Clouds - the LMC and SMC, respectively - are two of our nearest galactic...

ESO’s VLT Captures Unlikely Pair In Large Magellanic Cloud
2013-08-07 18:32:09

[ Watch the Video: ESO Captures Pair of Mysterious Glowing Gas Clouds ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online A newly released image from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has exposed new details about the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a galactic neighbor of the Milky Way. The LMC was discovered by its namesake, Ferdinand Magellan, when the explorer's famous trip to circumnavigate the globe took him through the southern hemisphere in...

Old Age Makes Monster Galaxies Picky Eaters
2013-08-02 13:32:17

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new analysis from scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) revealed that supermassive galaxies have stopped cannibalizing their neighbors over the past few billion years. The finding calls current models for galactic growth into question. "We've found that these massive galaxies may have started a diet in the last 5 billion years, and therefore have not gained much weight lately," said Yen-Ting Lin of the Academia Sinica...

New Weapon Hunt For Dark Matter Energy
2013-08-02 13:06:59

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The search for dark matter - and the even more mysterious dark energy - has both captivated and frustrated the minds of cosmologists and astronomers. There are the obvious reasons: by definition these phenomenon are difficult, if not impossible, to observe directly, and their effects can often be so subtle that making precise enough measurements proves a technical challenge. To overcome these difficulties, a team from the...

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
  • 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.'