Galaxies didn’t always take on the beautiful spiral shape we’ve come to associate with Andromeda and our own Milky Way. Looking far away into deep space—and into the past—ancient galaxies mostly look like giant blobs. But thanks to gravity’s light-bending properties, scientists have spotted a confounding thing in the…
You think our galaxy is special? Ha. Our boring pinwheel of gas and dark matter might be a nice hangout for humans. But 750 or so million light years away, there’s an elliptical galaxy, Galaxy 0402+379, whose two supermassive black holes are orbiting each other from a distance of only 24 or so light years. Their…
Everyone knows the cure for existential ennui is the Three P’s: Pint (of ice cream), Pink Floyd, and Pretty space pictures. While we can’t provide you with ice cream or a psychedelic experience, we can offer you some truly sublime galaxy simulations that are sure to fill the void inside you—for now.
Only a billion or so years after the universe formed, a galaxy far more massive than our own and a fraction of the size blazed into existence. Just half a billion years later—less than the amount of time it took life to emerge and evolve into humans on Earth—the galaxy was a dead disc, no longer forming stars.
It’s no secret that supermassive black holes are heartless beasts: These objects of immense gravity that let nothing, not even light escape, have fascinated astronomers since the early 20th century. While it’s believed that so-called supermassive black holes lurk at the center of most galaxies, including our own,…
A long time ago in two galaxies far, far away, there was quite the kerfuffle. New research suggests that about 200 million years ago, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way located 160,000 lightyears from Earth, got into an intergalactic altercation with its younger sibling, the Small…
Across the universe, unsuspecting galaxies are literally getting the life sucked out of them. Though the culprit is still at large, a team of researchers at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Western Australia is working tirelessly to crack the case—and to restore law and order.
Astronomers at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences have identified a new class of ring galaxy. Named PGC 1000714, it features an elliptical core with not one, but two outer rings. It’s the only known galaxy of its kind in the known universe.
A stunning new image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope shows a galaxy that’s being strangled by tentacles of gas and dust. The strange and intricate shape of this celestial object is caused by a supermassive black hole at its core—and it’s killing the host.
Using two of the world’s largest configurable telescopes, scientists have created the most detailed map yet of hydrogen atoms the Milky Way.
Using the Hubble Space telescope and other observatories, astronomers have completed the most accurate census of galaxies in the observable universe to date. In terms of the actual number, let’s just say we were way the hell off.
It’s a happy day when astronomers figure out what’s up with an enormous space blob—and the answer doesn’t imply the immediate destruction of humanity.
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.
Meet the Eye of Horus. It’s a newly discovered galaxy system that’s hiding something incredible in those fuzzy swirls of light circling it: a way of looking back into even further and older galaxies.
Here’s some knowledge that’ll make you feel like a microbe: Our Milky Way galaxy, a collection of hundreds of billions of stars and worlds, is but a tiny nucleus buried deep inside an enormous blob of million-degree gas that’s spinning at a rip-roaring 400,000 miles per hour.
The astronomical map you see here doesn’t depict stars, it shows galaxies—1.2 million of them, to be exact, a new record for astronomers. This extraordinary new 3D scan of the universe provides yet more evidence that a mysterious substance known as dark energy is likely causing the universe to expand at an…
A fairly ordinary-looking galaxy has been hiding a strange secret in plain sight. It is ten times larger than anyone thought (a whopping 718,000 light-years in diameter), plus it’s younger on the inside than it is on the out. Scientists think that it’s been stitched together from the pieces of several other…
The galaxy we’re zooming in on in the video above is LEDA 36252. It’s a tadpole galaxy 82 million lightyears away that has been steadily turning out new stars at an incredible rate for billions of years.
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.
Astronomers have just discovered one of the biggest black holes ever. Even more surprising, though, is where they found it—and the strange reason it got so big.