Galactic Bubbles Spark Debate
New microwave and radio observations resurrect controversy over gigantic lobes seen ballooning from the Milky Way’s center.
Hubble Takes Galaxy Census
New observations by the Hubble Space Telescope reveal some of the earliest galaxies in the universe.
A Big Black Hole in a Small Galactic Pond
A record-breaking black hole lurking at the center of a compact galaxy weighs about 17 billion Suns, a new study finds. Now astronomers are wondering: how did such a small galaxy come to harbor a leviathan?
Cosmic Web Weeds Dwarf Galaxies
Astronomers have discovered an unexpected explanation for why they can only find a small fraction of the satellite galaxies the Milky Way is supposed to have.
Hubble Goes Deep — eXtremely Deep
The Hubble Space Telescope's newest deep space image reveals 5,500 galaxies in a tiny, dark patch of sky in the constellation Fornax.
Milky Way Blew Bubbles
A careful analysis of Planck observations shows that there really is a mysterious haze emanating from the Milky Way’s core, mission team members say.
Galaxy Family Portrait
The Hubble Space Telescope snapped a family portrait of a pair of galaxies in the nearby Virgo galaxy, where a huge elliptical galaxy dwarfs its spiral sibling.
Universe is Still Missing its Lithium
New observations of the Small Magellanic Cloud have only heightened the mystery surrounding a decades-long cosmic conundrum: why does the universe have so much less lithium than astronomers think it should?
Milky Way's Black Hole Once Active
Evidence continues to mount that our galaxy's supermassive black hole was not always the quiet neighbor it is now.
New Heavyweight Galaxy Cluster
Astronomers have discovered a supermassive galaxy cluster that both meets and challenges expectations for how clusters ought to behave.
Star-Shredder's Brief Pulse
A supermassive black hole spotted last year as it ripped a star apart and spat out a jet had another surprise up its sleeve: a short-lived X-ray heartbeat seen only once before from a galaxy’s central beast.
Galaxy Zoo's Odd Black Holes
Citizen scientists are helping astronomers understand how galaxies and their resident supermassive black holes grow.
Black Holes Might Form Like Planets
Astronomers have plenty of evidence for small and large black holes, but have had little luck tracking down the mid-sized variety. One team of researchers suggests the search has been focused on the wrong places all along.
Andromeda Galaxy’s Odd Double Core
A new study simulating stars as they orbit a black hole might provide the best explanation for how our nearest spiral galaxy neighbor grew its lopsided nucleus.
Small Planets’ Evolutionary Edge
The discovery that planets can form around a variety of stars — and not just specific types, as previously thought — might open the floodgates on the search for habitable worlds in the galaxy.
WISE Identifies Mystery Sources
Astronomers are using infrared observations from NASA's WISE spacecraft to identify sources seen at energies a million times greater. The work may help astronomers figure out whether they've detected unknown cosmic phenomena.
Far-out Black Hole Hints
“Star cities” orbiting galaxies may reveal the mass of the gargantuan black hole hidden deep in the galaxy’s heart. The new relation could be more evidence for a large-scale black hole-galaxy link — or, it could mean one of the latest revolutions in astrophysics isn’t the full story.
WISE's Grand View of the Infrared Sky
In just 10 months during 2010, an orbiting observatory meticulously recorded a "heat map" of the entire celestial sphere, revealing unseen beauty in the Milky Way and providing astronomers with a catalog of more than a half billion celestial objects.
Colorful Cluster Transformation
Astronomers have spotted a unique galaxy cluster at a surprisingly far distance from Earth. The close mixing of lively and “red-and-dead” galaxies suggests an important transitional period in galaxy cluster evolution — when star formation shuts off.
The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs
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.