Researchers scanning the skies just got a big surprise. They spotted a humongous galaxy orbiting our own, where none had been seen before. It appeared, seemingly, out of nowhere.
Looking at these spiral galaxies glowing brightly against the dark, it’s hard to imagine that they could be so easily missed—but they were right up until now, when an astronomical survey catalogued them as equal to the biggest and brightest galaxies ever seen.
Astronomers just uncovered hundreds of hidden galaxies a mere 250 million light years away from Earth—well within our own galactic neighborhood. But how did they stay unknown for so long? The fault isn’t with them, it’s with our own Milky Way.
The cosmos is littered with clouds of star-forming gas, but few are as well studied as the Smith Cloud, set to crash into our galaxy in 30 million years. God-fearing humans might ask: Where did this unholy dust ball come from, and why is it heading straight for us? Now, science has the answer.
Using the VISTA telescope, astronomers in Chile have discovered a previously undetected band of young stars hidden away behind thick clouds of dust in the central bulge of the Milky Way.
How big is this photo? So big that just by taking it, astronomers found over 50,000 new stars and other bright space objects.
Scientists working with the Planck Satellite have produced a new polarization map of the Milky Way in microwaves, providing an unprecedented view of a rather dramatic electromagnetic loop discovered over a half-century ago.
Mapping the outer fringes of our universe is, obviously, a tremendously tricky task. But we should be able to get the parameters of our own galaxy pretty easily, right? Well, maybe not. And there’s a reason why.
The merger of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxy won’t happen for another 4 billion years, but the recent discovery of a massive halo of hot gas around Andromeda may mean our galaxies are already touching.
Do you think you know the Milky Way? You don't know the Milky Way.
Our sun has only been around for 4.5 billion years — which means it missed the cute early years of the Milky Way galaxy. If you were standing on a planet 10 billion years ago, when the Milky Way was relatively young, the night sky would have looked very different.
Not too long ago, most people on Earth could look up at night and see the Milky Way's stunning ribbon of stars. But if you live in a modern city or suburb awash in light pollution, that dazzling view of the night sky is about as rare as a wild predator sighting.
Chinese astronomers have discovered a new spiral arm at the outer reaches of the Milky Way. But it might be an extension of a distant arm discovered back in 2011, suggesting that a majestic spiral arm encircles the entire galaxy.
Astronomers attempting to monitor a cloud of gas reacting to the black hole at the center of our galaxy got a huge surprise: A giant x-ray flare erupting from that black hole, the largest one ever detected.
It took University of Hertfordshire astronomers 10 years to do it, but their meticulous efforts have resulted in a mindboggingly detailed catalogue of the visible part of the northern section of the Milky Way — a vast swath of space that contains new fewer than 219 million stars.
On the right of this image is our home galaxy, the Milky Way. On the left, the wing of a Boeing 747. How, pray tell, does one acquire such a photograph?
This image may look like a cloudy sunset reflected over the ocean — it's actually a shot of the Milky Way, as seen by the ESA's Planck Satellite. The unique perspective reveals previously unseen characteristics of our galaxy. And it may provide crucial insights into how the universe was born.
A new interactive panoramic lets you a take a full 360° tour of our galaxy — complete with a few stops along the way.
This is one of the most arresting compilations of landscape and astrovideography we've seen in ages. Titled "Huelux," created by photographer Randy Halverson, the video plays like a greatest-hits reel of natural phenomena in South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah.