The structure of the Milky Way

For thousands of years, people have been puzzling over the milky strip that extends across the entire firmament. In the modern era, Galileo Galilei discovered that this Milky Way consists of countless stars. However, it was ...

Astronomers find a 'break' in one of the Milky Way's spiral arms

Scientists have spotted a previously unrecognized feature of our Milky Way galaxy: A contingent of young stars and star-forming gas clouds is sticking out of one of the Milky Way's spiral arms like a splinter poking out from ...

Hubble sees spiral in Andromeda

The Andromeda constellation is one of the 88 modern constellations and should not be confused with our neighboring Andromeda Galaxy. The Andromeda constellation is home to the pictured galaxy known as NGC 7640.

Where is Earth in the Milky Way?

For thousand of years, astronomers and astrologers believed that the Earth was at the center of our Universe. This perception was due in part to the fact that Earth-based observations were complicated by the fact that the ...

Massive stars mark out Milky Way's 'missing' arms

A 12-year study of massive stars has reaffirmed that our Galaxy has four spiral arms, following years of debate sparked by images taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope that only showed two arms.

Image: Hubble spots a stunning spiral

Galaxies come in many shapes and sizes. One of the key galaxy types we see in the universe is the spiral galaxy, as demonstrated in an especially beautiful way by the subject of this Hubble Space Telescope image, NGC 2985. ...

Milky Way stars move in mysterious ways

Rather than moving in circles around the center of the Milky Way, all the stars in our Galaxy are travelling along different paths, moving away from the Galactic center. This has just been evidenced by Arnaud Siebert and ...

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