At the center of a galaxy called Messier 87, about 55 million light-years away, about which all of the matter of the galaxy orbits, there lies a monster: a supermassive black hole. With about 6.5 billion times the mass of the sun, the black hole at the center of M87 is so dense that its escape velocity, or the velocity needed to escape the object’s gravity, is more than the speed of light. Accordingly, not even photons of light can escape once they wander too close.
Discovering a new star is always a delight in astronomy. So you can probably imagine the excitement over discovering a giant stream of stars winding through the Milky Way. Continue reading Astronomers found a stream of thousands of stars hiding in the Milky Way
While inspecting a known globular cluster, a team of astronomers began to notice that some of its stars didn’t seem to belong. Investigating further, they realized the anomalous stars were part of a nearby galaxy—one previously unknown to us.
Science works in mysterious ways. Continue reading Astronomers Accidentally Discover a Hidden Galaxy Right Next Door
“The void” is more than a metaphor for gnawing existential pain. In fact, new research from an international team of scientists suggests that a huge void outside our extragalactic neighborhood could be impacting the way our galaxy—and others around it—move.
Minutes before clouds gathered over the night sky, astrophotographer Matt Pollock caught this snapshot of the Milky Way.
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.