Two teams of astronomers have independently announced the detection of a dwarf galaxy being eaten by another dwarf galaxy, NGC 4449. Seen in this image as a faint swipe of red stars, the satellite will probably be shredded after only a few orbits of its host, adding its stars to that galaxy's collection.
Beginning later this year, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment will begin to analyze the spectra of one million primordial galaxies — and, its designers hope, get some answers about the mysterious force that's accelerating the expansion of the universe.
Astronomers have discovered a dusty, stretched-out cloud heading for the supermassive black hole lurking in the Milky Way's core. The blob could be the meal the beast needs to wake up for a bit from its slumber, if the cloud survives its incoming trip on the dining cart.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics to (left to right) Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt, and Adam Riess, whose observations of distant supernovae led to the realization that the expansion of our universe is accelerating.