Since finding a perfectly dark sky is rare in our electrically-powered world, we at Gizmodo like to highlight the areas that still remain and the photography projects that explore them. This week’s photo series comes from the Altiplano salt flats (Salar de Uyuni) in Bolivia, where a team journeyed to the site and…
An international team of astronomers has discovered a huge expanse of space near the center of the Milky Way that’s devoid of young stars. This stellar desert extends for 8,000 light-years from the galactic core—and it hasn’t produced new stars for hundreds of millions of years.
Our world is getting brighter, as we turn more and more lights on across the planet. But all that light shining from the ground makes it harder to see the lights shining from the sky. It’s now gotten so bad that the Milky Way is almost impossible to see in most of the United States.
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.
Seven years after their last effort at mapping our Galaxy, the APEX telescope has given us something even more complete: A map of the galaxy that covers four times the area of its previous best.
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.
Created by stitching together over 400,000 taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope, YouTube user daveachuk made this incredibly beautiful video that makes it feel as if you’re floating along the Milky Way. The finished footage is breathtaking and makes it seem as if you’re just looking out a window as you fly through the…
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.
Our galaxy is not what we thought it was. According the paper Rings and Radial Waves in the Disk of the Milky Way—published in the Astrophysical Journal—we should call it the Corrugated Cardboard Galaxy, as shown in the diagram above. Even more surprising: It's 50-percent larger than previously thought.
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.