Astronomers in India have discovered a very unusual galaxy, and it’s dying. By now, in fact, it’s probably already dead. »
According to Albert Einstein, the speed of light is an absolute constant beyond which nothing can move faster. So, how can galaxies be traveling faster than the speed of light if nothing is supposed to be able to break this cosmic speed limit?
Galactic collision! The Hubble Space Telescope captured this beautiful look at NGC 3921, a pair of disk galaxies in the late stages of merger. These galaxies, both about the same size, began merging 700 million years ago, as you can see from the distortions, including loops and tails, caused by the merge. »
Astronomers call Messier 63 the Sunflower Galaxy, because they say its spiral shape resembles the spiral of seeds at the center of a sunflower. »
Astrophysicists at Caltech say they’ve detected the oldest, most distant galaxy known so far. It’s 13.2 billion years old — just over half a billion years younger than the universe itself — and the discovery may change what astrophysicists know about the early history of the universe. »
Imagine what our night sky would look like if its stellar density was a million times greater than it is now. Remarkably, such places actually exist: They’re called “Ultracompact Dwarfs,” and astronomers are calling them an entirely new kind of galaxy.
“Space is big,” said Douglas Adams. “You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is.” But why must this be so? And why does our Universe exhibit such tremendous scale, from the very tiny to the extremely large? Here are some possible answers. »
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.
Using NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), astronomers have catalogued 20 previously undetected galaxies that are so bright they belong to an entirely new class of objects, including one that releases 10,000 times more energy than the Milky Way — even though it’s smaller. »
Every now and then, astronomers spy a runaway star, one that’s hurling itself across its galaxy at breakneck speeds. But stars aren’t the only things that occasionally go beserker in the cosmic void: Galaxies themselves will sometimes depart home, never to return. »
A pioneering infrared scan of 100,000 galaxies by Penn State astronomers has failed to detect any signs of galaxy-spanning extraterrestrial supercivilizations. This result, though very preliminary, may be a sign that aliens aren't capable of conquering entire galaxies. »
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. »
Why does this galaxy have such a long curvy tail coming off it? That river of sunlike stars, going into deep space, was pulled away from NGC 7714 due to the gravitational pull of a galaxy passing by. »
This is SNR E0519-69.0, an expanding shell of debris around a star that exploded in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to the Milky Way. The red lines are the outer edges of the explosion (visible light) and the blue glow is the superhot gas (millions of degrees hot, in X-Ray). »
European astronomers using using the XMM-Newton X-ray space telescope have captured a glimpse of an unprecedented rogue galaxy that's smashing through other galaxies at a rate of 814 miles (1,310 km) per second. »
You're looking at the biggest and sharpest image ever taken of the Andromeda Galaxy. Though it only includes one third of the massive celestial object, the image contains a jaw-dropping 1.5 billion pixels. »
Can you identify what type of galaxy you're looking at? Careful! The answer you give may depend on your angle. »