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HD 122563 closeup

Celestial News & Events

In Search of Ancient Suns

We track down and admire five of the most ancient stars in the universe.

The Large Magellanic Cloud's

Milky Way

Dark Matter "Wake" in the Milky Way's Outer Reaches

Astronomers have discovered that a satellite of the Milky Way has left a "wake" in the dark matter halo that surrounds our galaxy.

An artist's impression of a gas cloud as it passes the black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

Milky Way

Flares from the Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole

The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way released an unusual number of strong flares in 2019. Now, astronomers are trying to figure out why.

Photo of an edge-on galaxy encircled by a faint stream of stars.

Milky Way

Seeking the Origins of Galactic Stellar Streams

A recent study has identified the origins of many of the long streams of stars that encircle the Milky Way. These streams may contain hints about our galaxy's past.

Gamma-rays from Milky Way

Milky Way

Tibet Observatory Confirms Existence of Galactic PeVatrons

A Tibetan cosmic-ray observatory has discovered high-energy particle accelerators within our galaxy.

Milky Way impression

Milky Way

The Milky Way’s Local Arm Is Longer Than We Thought

New maps of the Milky Way suggest the Local Arm that we call home is longer than expected — now upgraded to a major spiral feature (but not quite an arm).

Milky Way

What — and Where — Is the North Polar Spur?

Astronomers make the case that a gigantic ridge of gas sticking out of the galactic plane was blown out by a cluster of nearby supernovae.

Milky Way

The Alignment of the Milky Way’s Entourage, Explained

Astronomers are starting to understand why the dwarf galaxies around the Milky Way are aligned along a plane.

illustration of X-ray binary system

Black Holes

Astronomy News: Galactic One-Two Punch, Black Hole Heartbeat Falters

In the news this week: Globular clusters have the detailed scoop on our galaxy's past, and a "heartbeat" black hole binary in the Milky Way has gone mysteriously dim.

Side-view of Heracles' remains

Galaxies

Astronomers Discover Galactic “Fossil” Inside the Milky Way

Thousands of stars that once belonged to an ancient galaxy are inside our own.

Milky Way

Gaia Makes Most Accurate 3D Map of the Milky Way Yet

Astronomers have released a new, extremely detailed three-dimensional census of our Milky Way galaxy.

Andromeda's halo and 43 quasars

Milky Way

Astronomers Map Andromeda’s Halo

Astronomers have observed 43 quasars in back of our sister galaxy, Andromeda, using the distant beacons to map its halo of hot gas.

An image of the ASKAP array under the Milky Way

Milky Way

Will Radio Bursts Reveal Hidden Baryons?

Scientists are using radio emission from pulsars and fast radio bursts to probe the circumgalactic medium around the Milky Way.

Planet-forming disk

Exoplanets

Close Encounters in the Milky Way — and What They Mean for Planets

New research shows stellar flybys are common in our galaxy’s crowded center. That could have both good and bad (but mostly bad) effects on growing planets.

Ursa Major Arc

Milky Way

Astronomers Discover Huge Circular Arc Near the Big Dipper

The 30-degree circular arc is likely a shock front expanding from a star that exploded some 100,000 years ago.

Four sightlines through the Milky Way halo

Milky Way

The 10 Million-Degree Gas Around the Milky Way

New observations show ultra-hot gas around the Milky Way. Stellar explosions may have driven this gas out of our galaxy.

Magnetic field in the galactic center

Milky Way

Magnetism Rules in the Milky Way’s Core

Recent observations from the airborne SOFIA observatory show that magnetic fields — not gravity — govern the gas at the center of the Milky Way.

Star-forming outflow in a Milky Way-like galaxy

Milky Way

Is the Milky Way Throwing Out Forming Stars?

Some of the scant stars dwelling in the Milky Way's halo may have an unexpected origin: They may come from the galaxy itself.

star draws rosette around black hole

Milky Way

Black Hole Changes Star’s Orbit in Gravity Test

A long-awaited measurement indicates that a star whizzing around the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole has changed its trajectory.

The Milky Way's warp

Milky Way

The Milky Way’s Warped Tutu Twirls Every 600 Million Years

Astronomers have known for decades that our galaxy is warped. Now, they can follow the warp’s rotation as it travels around the galactic center.

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