James Webb Space Telescope will study Milky Way’s monster black hole

Astronomers needed a telescope the size of Earth to image the monster black hole at the center of the Milky Way – and next time they tackle the continuing observations, they’ll have help from NASA’s next-generation observatory in space. The James Webb Space Telescope, also known as JWST or Webb, launched in December 2021 and … Read more

Voids Made by Dying Stars Have Been Detected in Our Galaxy’s Interstellar Gas

It often feels like when people die, they leave a void behind. In the case of massive stars, that happens to be physically true. A new analysis of the tenuous gas that drifts between the stars in the Milky Way galaxy has revealed the imprint of bubbles that expand into space when a massive star … Read more

Untangling the Milky Way’s evolution through big data

Untangling the evolution of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, is a challenge similar to mapping the human genome, according to the European Space Agency (ESA). ESA’s galaxy mapper, Gaia, takes trillions of measurements of 2 billion of the brightest stars in the sky. Here, we look at what it takes to unpick those measurements … Read more

Pulsar Discovered Blazing Through the Milky Way at Over a Million Mile per Hour

The G292.0 + 1.8 supernova remnant contains a pulsar moving at over a million miles per hour, as seen in the Chandra image along with an optical image from the Digitized Sky Survey. Pulsars are rapidly spinning neutron stars that can form when massive stars run out of fuel, collapse, and explode. Sometimes these explosions … Read more

Astronomers Discover a Bizarre Spiral Object Swirling Around The Milky Way’s Center

As if cracking open a cosmic Russian nesting doll, astronomers have peered into the center of the Milky Way and discovered what appears to be a miniature spiral galaxy, swirling daintily around a single large star. The star – located about 26,000 light-years from Earth near the dense and dusty galactic center – is about … Read more

Hubble spots rogue black hole wandering the Milky Way alone

Scientists have spotted the first ever rogue black hole wandering our galaxy. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, the team not only detected the rogue object, but also directly measured its mass – something researchers have only been able to infer in the past. The stellar-mass black hole is located around 5,000 light-years from Earth in … Read more

At 1.4 Million Mph, Astronomers Detected One of The Fastest Cosmic Objects of Its Kind

When massive stars die, they do not do so quietly. Their deaths are spectacularly brilliant affairs that light up the cosmos, a supernova explosion that sends star guts punching out into space in a cloud of splendor. Meanwhile, the core of the star-that-was can linger on, collapsed into an ultra-dense neutron star or black hole. … Read more

Scientists Identify The Fastest-Growing Black Hole Ever Found in The Recent Universe

A supermassive black hole growing so fast it shines 7,000 times brighter than the entire Milky Way has just been found, hiding in plain sight. Every second, an amount of material equivalent to the mass of Earth falls into this insatiable black hole. As far as we know, it’s the fastest-growing black hole of the … Read more

ESA’s Gaia sees strange stars in most detailed Milky Way survey to date

Credit: ESA / Gaia / DPAC. Gaia is ESA’s mission to create the most accurate and complete multi-dimensional map of the Milky Way. This allows astronomers to reconstruct our home galaxy’s structure and past evolution over billions of years, and to better understand the lifecycle of stars and our place in the universe. Gaia’s data … Read more