Dust Factory

Striking It Rich in Supernovae Dust at the Center of the Milky Way Galaxy

Medicine & Technology It’s a tough job sifting through the data and the haze of the center of the Milky Way galaxy, but some astronomers have to do it. The time-consuming job often means having to peer into the center with aid of multiple telescopes, all giving you a different perspective at a different wavelength. It can be job of countless hours, with little to no reward, but when researchers find even cosmic dust, their studies can strike it rich.

Is the Galaxy Bigger Than We Thought?

The Milky Way Galaxy is huge with our small solar system acting as just a grain of sand of the giant beach that is the galaxy. NASA previously estimated that the galaxy spans approximately 100,000 light years across. With each light year representing about 6 trillion miles, we are talking about an almost unimaginable distance. If you think that's large, new research now suggests that the Milky Way could be 50,000 light years larger than previously thought.
Rose Galaxies

Could Dark Matter and Black Holes Cause the Swirl In Your Galaxy?

Ever seen a snapshot of the universe and wondered just how and what makes the beautiful swirling shapes that modern telescopes now let us see? Imagery of the Horsehead Nebula, the Pillars of Creation, and even the Rose Galaxies have captivated researchers and the public for decades, but finding exactly what causes space dust, planets and stars to conform in such elegant forms has often eluded astronomers studying the infinite wonders of space. But a new study conducted by researchers with the Harvard University Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) reveals that the connection between collections of stars and the elliptical shapes of galaxies may have something to do with dark matter and the presence of black holes at the center of every galactic mass.
Hubble View of Galaxies

Cosmic Radio Burst Caught from Outside Our Galaxy

Astronomers in eastern Australia using the CSIRO's 64-m Parkes radio telescope have for the first time caught a "fast radio burst" live. A fast radio burst is a short, sharp flash of radio waves from an unknown source.

Light Signals Discovered by NASA Reveal The Merging of Two Black Holes

For the first time ever, scientists have seen an unusual light signal that appears to be repeating itself from a distant quasar. And no, before the thought crosses your mind, this is not a sign of extraterrestrial life, but rather a signal from two black holes. These signals are an indication of two supermassive black holes that are in the last stages of merging together.
Dark Matter

Eons After the Big Bang, and 80 Years After It Was Proposed, Dark Matter Takes Form in Andromeda

For decades now, researchers have long believed that the ever-elusive dark matter has comprised roughly 80 percent of the entire universe’s mass. But in spite of advancing technology, taking astronomers past the moon to far off comets/planets and back, researchers have not yet been able to identify the existence of dark matter in our galaxy or any other, and have not yet been able to isolate the hypothetical invisible particles in Earth labs either. But in what appears to be a strange X-ray emission from nearby galactic clusters, two independent European research teams believe that they may have found the first true dark matter known to man—and it’s not too far away either.
Dark Matter

Strange Andromeda Transmission May be First Sign of Dark Matter

While the ever elusive “dark matter” was first proposed by Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky in the early 1930s, a team of European scientists this week believe that they may have detected the first ever evidence of dark matter in mysterious photo emissions of the X-ray spectra, emitting from the Andromeda galaxy, the Draco dwarf galaxy, and other galactic clusters far outside our own solar system.
Simulation of the cloud G2 and stars orbiting the central supermassive black hole of our galaxy.

Binary Stars Merge and Beat Supermassive Black Hole

Nearly every Sci-Fi film about deep space has warned about the perils of coming up against a black hole. And if there’s anything we’ve learned, or that astronomy has taught us, it’s that these supermassive vortex’s have quite a strong pull—something most planets and stars cannot bare to go through. But as it so happens, it turns out that cosmic coupling may be one solution for solar systems looking to avoid certain death.
Siding Spring Comet Passes by Mars

NASA’s Spacecrafts ‘Duck And Cover’ Behind Mars as Comet Passes Through

It’s been a flyby anticipated for months, and one whose arrival sparked much commotion at NASA’s headquarters this past weekend. Hurtling through the night sky at nearly 125,000 miles per hour, Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring passed right by the planet Mars early Sunday afternoon, Oct. 19, coming in close contact with the Martian outer atmosphere at about 2:27pm ET.
Artist's Rednering of the Milky Way's Hot Halo, Stripping Away Star-Forming Hydrogen from its Neighbors.

How the Milky Way Dominates the Stellar Block—Dwarf Galaxies, Get Out of the Way

It’s no big secret that humans tend to think of themselves as the center of the universe. It’s a flaw that has countlessly been proven wrong as science emerged and showed a different view of the world a around us. However, as it turns out, our galaxy may also be to blame for believing it too is the center of the universe.
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