Black Hole Shoots Bullets
Observations of a black hole that spat out twin blobs of superhot material may help astronomers understand how the mysterious beasts create powerful jets that shoot out from their poles. The blobs appeared just as the system went quiet in X-rays.
Black Hole Breakfast En Route
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.
Another Origin for Cosmic Rays
Recent gamma-ray observations support the longstanding theory that superspeedy particles called cosmic rays have their origin in the havoc-ridden regions around young star clusters.
Cygnus X-1, Exactly
Astronomers have pinned down the distance, mass, and spin rate for the first black hole candidate discovered, information that points to a birth sans supernova.
"Blue Stragglers" Renewed by Stealing
Some deceptively youthful stars may find their fountains of youth in material they grab off other stars.
Amateur Discovers A Planetary Nebula
Austrian amateur Matthias Kronberger has found a planetary nebula near the northern constellation of Cygnus, the Swan. His discovery might help scientists understand the role of stellar companions in the formation of these glowing gas clouds.
Neutron Star Gobbles Gas, Burps X-rays
Astronomers have observed a neutron star flaring to 10,000 times its original brightness.
Oddball Stars in the Milky Way's Heart
The first blue stragglers identified in the Milky Way’s bulge pose a question: why do they look so young?
A Milky Way Masterpiece
Using a deceptively simple setup, Randy Halverson has captured the galaxy's motion across his South Dakota farm with breathtaking beauty and realism.
The Milky Way's New Arm
Astronomers have struggled for decades to discern our galaxy's true shape. But they're slowly getting the picture, thanks to the discovery of a long arm that traces the grand spiral to its outer limits.
Do Planets Outnumber Stars?
Just-released observations suggest that the Milky Way could teem with hundreds of billions of free-floating planets.
A Runaway Star with a Story To Tell
Now streaking away in the Milky Way's outermost halo, HE 0437-5439 had a very close run-in with the galaxy's central black hole. And that was just the beginning.
The Milky Way's Killer Instincts
Don't let its graceful spiral form fool you: our home galaxy is a cannibal. It's long been accused of having gobbled up smaller dwarf galaxies in its vicinity — and two new observations make an ironclad case for the prosecution.
Supernovae: Cosmic-Ray Superfactories
Now we know for sure. The cosmic-ray particles that bombard Earth from deep space originate in very exotic places: the shock waves in supernova remnants.
The Lost Siblings of the Sun
The Sun and solar system formed 4.6 billion years ago amid a rich cluster of other newborn stars. Where are they now?
Milky Way Doubles Its Mass
Our Milky Way Galaxy rotates 15 percent faster and is twice as massive as formerly believed — making it an equal match for the Great Andromeda Galaxy rather than its little brother.
Milky Way's Central Monster Measured
Astronomers have refined the mass of the Milky Way's central black hole by tracking the orbits of several stars whizzing around it. The job hasn't been easy.
Eta Carinae Prepares for X-ray Crash
Known for its mysteriousness, one of the galaxy's most massive stars gears up for its periodic pundit-perplexing event. Will Eta Carinae finally reveal its secrets?
The Most Massive Star Yet?
Searching the core of one of the densest young star clusters in the Milky Way, scientists may have beat out primetime TV in the search for the newest big star.
The Milky Way Remapped
Two new sky surveys shed light on the structure of our home galaxy.