Our first glimpse of the dusty remnants of an exploding star

See that reddish cloud inside this supernova's shockwave? It's a massive plume of dust that formed shortly after the star ripped itself to shreds. The observation was made using the the brand new ALMA telescope — and it's one that will help explain how galaxies got their dusty and dim complexion. » 1/07/14 8:00am 1/07/14 8:00am

NASA says NGC 6872 is the largest spiral galaxy ever discovered

Located about 212 million light-years from Earth, the massive spiral galaxy NGC 6872 has been known to astronomers for decades. But it wasn't until a recent survey of nearby star-forming regions that NASA scientists realized just how big it truly is. New data shows that, from tip-to-tip across its two outsized spiral… » 1/11/13 7:20am 1/11/13 7:20am

Brilliant new computer simulation shows how the Milky Way formed after …

As surprising as this may sound, physicists and astronomers aren't entirely sure how spiral galaxies like the Milky Way got their exact shape. Any attempts to generate a spiral galaxy from scratch resulted in a computer simulation that showed a giant ball with too many stars. But a new study to be published in the… » 7/26/12 9:30am 7/26/12 9:30am

Why did these ‘ghost galaxies’ suddenly stop making stars?

According to predictive models, there should be thousands of ancient and tiny ‘dwarf galaxies' in our neighborhood — but to date, astronomers have found but a few. And those discovered contain puzzlingly few stars, giving rise to the name ‘ghost galaxies.' This problem has led to the theory that dwarf galaxies must… » 7/16/12 9:43am 7/16/12 9:43am

Astronomers discover invisible, starless galaxies predicted by theory

When thinking about how galaxies form, scientists have speculated about large masses of gas that are drawn together to form a kind of embryonic proto-galaxy. But because these supposed objects are starless, they would be practically invisible, thus making them impossible to detect — or so it would seem. » 7/12/12 11:20am 7/12/12 11:20am