“We knew the Milky Way had a bar, like other barred spiral galaxies. But we only had indirect indications from the motions of stars and gas. This is the first time we see the galactic bar in 3D space, based on geometric measurements of stellar distances.”
It sounds unbelievable, but a new study from Kagoshima University and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan says that exoplanets – thousands of them – could be orbiting supermassive black holes.
According to a new study by astronomers based on data from the Kepler Space Telescope, 1 in 4 sunlike stars should have a planet that’s approximately Earth-sized, orbiting in the star’s habitable zone.
Analysis of measurements via the Gaia space telescope – of star positions, brightnesses and distances – has let astronomers probe a merger 10 billion years ago between the primitive Milky Way and a dwarf galaxy called Gaia-Enceladus.
Analysis of data from the Gaia satellite shows a powerful burst of star formation – a stellar baby boom – in our Milky Way galaxy 2 to 3 billion years ago. This single burst might have created half the stars in the galaxy’s flat disk.
University of Michigan astronomers say a hyper-runaway star didn’t originate from the galaxy’s center, as previously believed. Instead, they say, a cluster of young stars booted it from the galaxy’s disk.
The Andromeda galaxy is the nearest large spiral to our Milky Way. Astronomers have suspected for some time it will eventually collide with our Milky Way. Now – thanks to the Gaia satellite – they know more.
We think of globular clusters as being scattered far from the galaxy’s central regions, in the great spherical halo of our Milky Way. But astronomers are finding them much closer to the galactic center.
We see a fair number of photos of light pillars – shafts of light extending from the sun or other bright light source – taken from northerly latitudes. This one is caused by the moon, and it’s over Earth’s South Pole.
Astronomers found a snail-shaped substructure of stars in our larger Milky Way galaxy. It indicates the Milky Way is still enduring the effects of a near-collision that set millions of stars moving like ripples on a pond.
Astronomers have discovered that the basic building blocks of some planetary systems are very similar to Earth’s elements, helpful information in the search for truly Earth-like planets in other solar systems.