1–20 of 121 results
Planet-forming disk

Milky Way

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

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

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.

Milky Way

Nearby Stellar Nurseries Ride a Giant Wave

Astronomers have found a gigantic, undulating wave of stellar nurseries in our galaxy, just outside the Sun’s orbit in the spiral disk.

Milky Way

Baby Stars Found in Ancient Part of Our Galaxy

Ground- and space-based observations have revealed a group of stars at the head of the giant stream of gas burrowing its way through the Milky Way.

Black Holes

Bubbles, Heated Clouds Point to Active Past for Galactic Center

Two studies support the suspicion that our galaxy’s black hole had one or more outbursts a few million years ago.

Edge-on view of the

Milky Way

Untangling Stellar Strings in the Milky Way

Long-lived, string-shaped groups of stars align with the Milky Way’s spiral arms — and they may provide clues to what those arms looked like long ago.

warped galaxy disk

Milky Way

Warped Milky Way in 3D

Astronomers have used pulsating stars to trace the crooked shape of our galaxy’s disk.

Antlia 2 simulation

Milky Way

Did a Dwarf Galaxy Crash into the Milky Way?

A recent study suggests the dwarf galaxy Antlia 2 had a long-ago run-in with our galaxy, rippling and warping its disk. But not everyone agrees with that scenario.

GD-1 and Palomar 5

Milky Way

Evidence for a Dark Matter Clump in the Milky Way

There are ghosts in our galaxy’s past. Now astronomers have found a way to detect them.

Gaia's map of 1.7 billion stars in the Milky Way and beyond

Milky Way

Our Quiet Galaxy Used to Burst with Stars

New research shows that our quiet, middle-aged galaxy used to be quite the firecracker — a couple billion years ago it was exploding with new stars.

Milky Way

Astronomers Find Stars Streaming from Our Galaxy’s Biggest Cluster

Astronomers have discovered a stream of stars pulled from Omega Centauri, the largest and most brilliant globular cluster around the Milky Way — and perhaps a one-time dwarf galaxy.

Milky Way and globular clusters

Milky Way

The Milky Way Contains the Mass of 1.5 Trillion Suns

Astronomers are using Gaia and the Hubble Space Telescope to make the most precise measure of the Milky Way’s mass to date. The new result puts our galaxy on par with — if not more massive than — Andromeda.

The Hyades open star cluster

Stellar Science

The Beginning of the End for the Hyades Star Cluster

New measurements from the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite show that the young stars of the Hyades cluster are beginning to drift apart.

Warped spiral galaxy ESO 510-13

Milky Way

The Milky Way Is Warped in More Ways Than One

Astronomers mapping out luminous stars across our galaxy's disk found that the Milky Way is warped — and multiple factors are twisting its shape.

Image of Small Magellanic Cloud

Milky Way

Evidence Mounts for a Magellanic Collision

Astronomers have suspected for some time that the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds collided in the recent past. The Gaia space telescope provides striking new evidence for a head-on collision.

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