Shockwaves Are Driving This Galaxy To Its Imminent Doom

This galaxy looks like our own Milky Way, except for a pair of spiral arms emerging out of the galactic plane. That one anomaly is enough to radically change the evolution of NGC 4258, as powerful jets are generating shockwaves driving gas right out of the galaxy and slowing star growth to a crawl. » 9/10/14 1:03am 9/10/14 1:03am

The New Hottest Spot in the Milky Way

Two days ago, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope revealed an image of what could be the brightest star in our galaxy: Wolf-Rayet star WR 102ka or, more fondly, the "Peony nebula" star. Astronomers say that it burns with the light intensity of 3.2 million suns — but that's a rough estimate, and one that might even stretch… » 7/17/08 2:39pm 7/17/08 2:39pm

Our Future Galactic Overlords Glow Red With Power Lust

Do you notice anything funny about this picture of NGC 6946, the "Fireworks Galaxy"? Like that lurid wealth of red splotches, for example? The bright red areas represent regions in the galaxy that are actively forming new stars, and there do seem to be an awful lot of them. Could we be facing a star-formation gap with… » 6/23/08 4:16pm 6/23/08 4:16pm

Look into the Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy

No it's not some Heidiggerian metaphor, that pushpin really does mark the black hole at the center of our lives. Meet Sagittarius A, the ginormous black hole that resides in mega-gravitational splendor at the center of the Milky Way, sucking up energy and spitting it back out in the form of X-rays and even hotter,… » 6/06/08 3:52pm 6/06/08 3:52pm

300 Baby Stars In Our Nearest Star-Factory

Newborn stars are surrounded with dust in the Rho Ophiuchi dark cloud, in this new image from the Spitzer Space Telescope. Only about 407 light years from Earth, Rho Oph is one of the closest star-forming regions to us. There are more than 300 young stellar objects within the central cloud, which contains the crucial… » 2/13/08 2:30pm 2/13/08 2:30pm