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Keyword: milkyway

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Galaxy Tree

    05/25/2015 12:23:13 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | May 25, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: First came the trees. In the town of Salamanca, Spain, the photographer noticed how distinctive a grove of oak trees looked after being pruned. Next came the galaxy. The photographer stayed up until 2 am, waiting until the Milky Way Galaxy rose above the level of a majestic looking oak. From this carefully chosen perspective, dust lanes in the galaxy appear to be natural continuations to branches of the tree. Last came the light. A flashlight was used on the far side of the tree to project a silhouette. By coincidence, other trees also appeared as similar silhouettes across...
  • Andromeda And The Milky Way Might Collide Sooner Than We Think

    05/16/2015 2:26:25 PM PDT · by ETL · 61 replies
    Universe Today via io9 ^ | May 16, 2015 | Bob King
    The merger of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxy won’t happen for another 4 billion years, but the recent discovery of a massive halo of hot gas around Andromeda may mean our galaxies are already touching. Andromeda’s halo is gargantuan. Extending for at least 2 million light years, if we could see in our night sky it would be 100 times the diameter of the Moon or 50 degrees across! [the entire sky, from horizon to horizon, is approx 180 deg -ETL] Credit: NASA University of Notre Dame astrophysicist Nicholas Lehner led a team of scientists using the Hubble Space...
  • More evidence that the Milky Way has four spiral arms

    05/12/2015 12:33:15 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 30 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 05-12-2015 | by Dan Majaess, Universe Today
    Astronomers have been arguing over just how many spiral arms our galaxy exhibits. Is the Milky Way a four or two-armed spiral galaxy? Astronomers had often assumed the Milky Way was potentially a four-armed spiral galaxy, but comparatively recent observations from NASA's Spitzer telescope implied the galaxy had two spiral arms. In 2013, astronomers mapped star forming regions and argued they had found the two missing arms, bringing the total number of arms back to four. The case for a four-armed Milky Way may have just gotten stronger. A team of Brazilian astronomers used star clusters embedded in their natal...
  • Size of the Milky Way Upgraded, Solving Galaxy Puzzle

    05/04/2015 2:19:04 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 17 replies
    Space.com ^ | 4/4/15 | Shannon Hall
    The Corrugated Galaxy The disk of the Milky Way Galaxy disk may actually be rippled. Two ringlike structures of stars wrapping around the Milky Way's outer disk now appear to belong to the disk itself. The results, outlined in a new study, show that the disk is about 60 percent larger than previously thought. Not only do the results extend the size of the Milky Way, they also reveal a rippling pattern, which raises intriguing questions about what sent wavelike fluctuations rippling through the disk. The researchers said the likely culprit was a dwarf galaxy. It might have plunged...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M46 Plus Two

    04/17/2015 10:30:16 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | April 17, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Galactic or open star clusters are young. These swarms of stars are born together near the plane of the Milky Way, but their numbers steadily dwindle as cluster members are ejected by galactic tides and gravitational interactions. In fact, this bright open cluster, known as M46, is around 300 million years young. It still contains a few hundred stars within a span of 30 light-years or so. Located about 5,000 light-years away toward the constellation Puppis, M46 also seems to contain contradictions to its youthful status. In this pretty starscape, the colorful, circular patch above and right of the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way over Erupting Volcano

    04/13/2015 7:30:07 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | April 13, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The view was worth the trip. Battling high winds, cold temperatures, and low oxygen, the trek to near the top of the volcano Santa Maria in Guatemala -- while carrying sensitive camera equipment -- was lonely and difficult. Once set up, though, the camera captured this breathtaking vista during the early morning hours of February 28. Visible on the ground are six volcanoes of the Central America Volcanic Arc, including Fuego, the Volcano of Fire, which is seen erupting in the distance. Visible in the sky, in separate exposures taken a few minutes later, are many stars much further...
  • Milky Way's center unveils supernova 'dust factory'

    03/20/2015 3:05:24 AM PDT · by samtheman · 20 replies
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/ ^ | Cornell University
    Sifting through the center of the Milky Way galaxy, astronomers have made the first direct observations -- using an infrared telescope aboard a modified Boeing 747 -- of cosmic building-block dust resulting from an ancient supernova.
  • The corrugated galaxy: Milky Way may be much larger than previously estimated

    03/13/2015 7:50:24 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 38 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | Mar 11, 2015 | Provided by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    The Milky Way galaxy is at least 50 percent larger than is commonly estimated, according to new findings that reveal that the galactic disk is contoured into several concentric ripples. The research, conducted by an international team led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Professor Heidi Jo Newberg, revisits astronomical data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey which, in 2002, established the presence of a bulging ring of stars beyond the known plane of the Milky Way. "In essence, what we found is that the disk of the Milky Way isn't just a disk of stars in a flat plane—it's corrugated," said...
  • In theory, the Milky Way could be a 'galactic transport system' (it could be a huge wormhole!)

    01/22/2015 2:13:28 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 13 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 1/21/15 | Source: Sissa Medialab
    Based on the latest evidence and theories our galaxy could be a huge wormhole (or space-time tunnel, have you seen the movie "Interstellar?") and, if that were true, it would be "stable and navigable." This is the hypothesis put forward in a study published in Annals of Physics and conducted with the participation of SISSA in Trieste. The paper, the result of a collaboration between Indian, Italian and North American researchers, prompts scientists to re-think dark matter. "If we combine the map of the dark matter in the Milky Way with the most recent Big Bang model to explain the...
  • Astronomers find 'new' dwarf galaxy in Milky Way's neighborhood

    12/27/2014 4:18:14 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 37 replies
    latimes.com ^ | Amina Khan
    Astronomers searching the sky with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have discovered an odd little dwarf galaxy in our very own backyard -- a mere 7 million light years away.. ... Given that these isolated dwarf spheroidal galaxies are so hard to find, there could be many more of these fascinating galactic fossils just hanging out in the darkness of our own intergalactic neighborhood, just waiting to be found,
  • Illustration sequence of the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxy colliding (as seen from Earth)

    12/09/2014 12:27:37 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 20 replies
  • Throwback Thursday: Seeing through our galaxy

    11/21/2014 10:58:31 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 7 replies
    Medium ^ | 11/20/14 | Ethan Siegel
    When we look out at the Universe, our view is pretty consistently dominated by the stars within our own galaxy. Although we know that many interesting things lie beyond — globular clusters, individual galaxies, and rich clusters and superclusters of galaxies — being in the Milky Way makes it very hard to see a great many of them. This is because our own galaxy, from our vantage point within it, dominates a huge fraction of the sky overhead. Image credit: Richard Payne, of Arizona Astrophotography.The plane of the Milky Way itself obscures about a total of 20% of our night sky. What appears...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way over Devils Tower

    10/31/2014 12:44:10 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | October 31, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A mysterious formation known as Devils Tower rises into the dark above northeastern Wyoming's prairie landscape in this 16 frame panoramic view. Seen against the night sky's thin, pale clouds and eerie green airglow, star clusters and nebulae of the Milky Way arc toward the galaxy's central realm at right. Of course the scene contains the Milky Way's own haunting and grisly visages of halloween, including ghosts, a flaming skull, a glowing eye and a witch's broom. To find them, slide your cursor over the picture or just follow this link, if you dare. And have a safe and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Shoreline of the Universe

    09/20/2014 12:38:21 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | September 20, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Against dark rifts of interstellar dust, the ebb and flow of starlight along the Milky Way looks like waves breaking on a cosmic shore in this night skyscape. Taken with a digital camera from the dunes of Hatteras Island, North Carolina, planet Earth, the monochrome image is reminiscent of the time when sensitive black and white film was a popular choice for dimmly lit night- and astro-photography. Looking south, the bright stars of Sagittarius and Scorpius are near the center of the frame. Wandering Mars, Saturn, and Zubenelgenubi (Alpha Librae) form the compact triangle of bright celestial beacons farther...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way over Yellowstone

    08/28/2014 7:20:51 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | August 27, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Milky Way was not created by an evaporating lake. The colorful pool of water, about 10 meters across, is known as Silex Spring and is located in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, USA. Illuminated artificially, the colors are caused by layers of bacteria that grow in the hot spring. Steam rises off the spring, heated by a magma chamber deep underneath known as the Yellowstone hotspot. Unrelated and far in the distance, the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy arches high overhead, a band lit by billions of stars. The above picture is a 16-image panorama taken...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- New York to London Milky Way

    06/14/2014 5:23:26 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | June 14, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Bright stars of Sagittarius and the center of our Milky Way Galaxy lie just off the wing of a Boeing 747 in this astronomical travel photo. The stratospheric scene was captured earlier this month during a flight from New York to London, 11,0000 meters above the Atlantic Ocean. Of course the sky was clear and dark at that altitude, ideal conditions for astronomical imaging. But there were challenges to overcome while looking out a passenger window of the aircraft moving at nearly 1,000 kilometers per hour (600 mph). Over 90 exposures of 30 seconds or less were attempted with...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Meteors, Planes, and a Galaxy over Bryce Canyon

    05/19/2014 3:51:18 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | May 19, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sometimes land and sky are both busy and beautiful. The landscape pictured in the foreground encompasses Bryce Canyon in Utah, USA, famous for its many interesting rock structures eroded over millions of years. The skyscape above, photogenic in its own right, encompasses the arching central disk of our Milky Way Galaxy, streaks that include three passing airplanes and at least four Eta Aquariid meteors, and bright stars that include the Summer Triangle. The above image is a digital panorama created from 12 smaller images earlier this month on the night May 6. If you missed the recent Eta Aquariids...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- That Night over Half Dome

    05/02/2014 7:21:47 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | May 02, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Captured one night last May this eight frame mosaic starts on the left, down Northside Drive through Yosemite National Park. It ends thousands of light-years away though, as the arc of the Milky Way tracks toward the center of our galaxy on the right, far beyond the park's rugged skyline. That night was still moonless when the storm clouds retreated, so the rocky faces of the surrounding mountains are lit by campfires and artifical lights. Yosemite Falls is at the left. The granite face of Half Dome juts above the far horizon, near the center of the view. The...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Clouds and Crosses over Haleakala

    04/12/2014 3:18:00 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | April 12, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Aloha and welcome to a breathtaking skyscape. The dreamlike panoramic view from March 27 looks out over the 10,000 foot summit of Haleakala on Maui, Hawai'i. A cloud layer seeps over the volcanic caldera's edge with the Milky Way and starry night sky above. Head of the Northern Cross asterism, supergiant star Deneb lurks within the Milky Way's dust clouds and nebulae at the left. From there you can follow the arc of the Milky Way all the way to the stars of the more compact Southern Cross, just above the horizon at the far right. A yellowish Mars...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Milky Way Dawn

    03/29/2014 5:39:58 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | March 29, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: As dawn broke on March 27, the center of the Milky Way Galaxy stood almost directly above the European Southern Observatory's Paranal Observatory. In the dry, clear sky of Chile's Atacama desert, our galaxy's dusty central bulge is flanked by Paranal's four 8 meter Very Large Telescope units in this astronomical fisheye view. Along the top, Venus is close to the eastern horizon. The brilliant morning star shines very near a waning crescent Moon just at the edge of one of the telescope structures. Despite the bright pairing in the east, the Milky Way dominates the scene though. Cut...
  • Big Pic: An Ultramassive Black Hole

    01/26/2014 7:26:30 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    Popular Science ^ | January 24, 2014 | Francie Diep
    One of the most powerful things in the universe wears a sparkly purple coat. Well, at least it looks that way in this image combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope. This is an image of the galaxy cluster RX J1532.9+3021... At the cluster's center is one of the most powerful black holes astronomers have ever found. The black hole is surrounded by hot gas, which appears here in purple. Normally, astronomers would expect dense, hot gas like this to form stars, but they haven't found any evidence of stars here. Instead, they think, the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- From the Northern to the Southern Cross

    01/27/2014 4:22:54 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | January 27, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: There is a road that connects the Northern to the Southern Cross but you have to be at the right place and time to see it. The road, as pictured above, is actually the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy; the right place, in this case, is dark Laguna Cejar in Salar de Atacama of Northern Chile; and the right time was in early October, just after sunset. Many sky wonders were captured then, including the bright Moon, inside the Milky Way arch; Venus, just above the Moon; Saturn and Mercury, just below the Moon; the Large and...
  • A cosmic feast! Milky Way’s mysterious black hole set to gobble up giant gas cloud

    01/14/2014 5:41:54 AM PST · by C19fan · 29 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | January 14, 2014 | Ellie Zolfaghasifard
    The Milky Way’s black hole is about to gobble up its first dinner, and astronomers are hoping to have front row seats when it happens. A huge gas cloud, about three times the mass of Earth, is on course to collide with the supermassive black hole at the heart of our galaxy in March. Astronomers expect the gas cloud will swing so close to the black hole that it will heat up to the point where it produces spectacular X-rays.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Local Fluff

    09/24/2013 5:47:12 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | September 24, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The stars are not alone. In the disk of our Milky Way Galaxy about 10 percent of visible matter is in the form of gas, called the interstellar medium (ISM). The ISM is not uniform, and shows patchiness even near our Sun. It can be quite difficult to detect the local ISM because it is so tenuous and emits so little light. This mostly hydrogen gas, however, absorbs some very specific colors that can be detected in the light of the nearest stars. A working map of the local ISM within 20 light-years, based on ongoing observations and recent...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way Over Spain's Bardenas Reales

    09/02/2013 12:33:43 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | September 02, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that below the Milky Way? First, across the top of the above image, lies the faint band that is our planet's sideways view of the central disk of our home Milky Way Galaxy. The Milky Way band can be seen most clear nights from just about anywhere on Earth with a dark sky. What lies beneath is, by comparison, is a much less common sight. It is the striking peak of Castildetierra, a rock formation located in Bardenas Reales, a natural badlands in northeast Spain. Standing 50 meters tall, the rock spire includes clay and sandstone left over...
  • Photograph of the Milky Way taken in Greenhead, Western Australia

    08/16/2013 10:04:31 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 30 replies
    A close-up view of the central bulge of the Milky Way Galaxy, partially obscured by a dark jagged swath of intervening gas and dust. Magnifico!
  • BORREGO STARDANCE

    08/01/2013 3:28:30 PM PDT · by brityank · 3 replies
    Vimeo's Video Site ^ | 29 July, 2013 | Sunchaser Pictures
    BORREGO STARDANCE from Sunchaser Pictures "The Trippiest Time Lapse Video We've Ever Seen" -- POPULAR SCIENCE [O]ur next adventure takes us to the desert town of Borrego Springs, California -- a remarkable hidden gem surrounded by the 600,000 acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Just three hours south of Los Angeles, this unspoiled landscape shines not only for its natural wonders, but for the absolutely amazing, enormous metal sculptures left behind by local business leader Dennis Avery. Dragons, Dinosaurs, Giant Scorpions, Wooly Mammoths, and much more!
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Atacama's Cloudy Night

    07/27/2013 7:56:35 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | July 27, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Storm clouds do sometimes come to Chile's Atacama desert, known as the driest place on Earth. These washed through the night sky just last month during the winter season, captured in this panoramic view. Drifting between are cosmic clouds more welcome by the region's astronomical residents though, including dark dust clouds in silhouette against the crowded starfields and nebulae of the central Milky Way. Below and right of center lies the Large Magellanic Cloud, appropriately named for its appearance in starry southern skies. City lights about 200 kilometers distant still glow along the horizon at the right, while bright...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Messier's Eleven

    07/12/2013 3:59:42 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | July 12, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This fifteen degree wide field of view stretches across the crowded starfields of Sagittarius toward the center of our Milky Way galaxy. In fact, the center of the galaxy lies near the right edge of the rich starscape and eleven bright star clusters and nebulae fall near the center of the frame. All eleven are numbered entries in the catalog compiled by 18th century cosmic tourist Charles Messier. Gaining celebrity status with skygazers, M8 (Lagoon), M16 (Eagle), M17 (Omega), and M20 (Trifid) show off the telltale reddish hues of emission nebulae associated with star forming regions. But also eye-catching...
  • Earth's Milky Way Neighborhood Gets More Respect

    06/04/2013 8:28:19 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 10 replies
    NRAO ^ | 6/3/13
    Earth's Milky Way Neighborhood Gets More Respect Old picture: Local Arm a small "spur" of Milky Way. New picture: Local Arm probable major branch of Perseus Arm. CREDIT: Robert Hurt, IPAC; Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF. Our Solar System's Milky Way neighborhood just went upscale. We reside between two major spiral arms of our home galaxy, in a structure called the Local Arm. New research using the ultra-sharp radio vision of the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) indicates that the Local Arm, previously thought to be only a small spur, instead is much more like the adjacent major arms,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Milky Trail

    06/01/2013 9:05:25 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | June 01, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Have you ever hiked the Queen's Garden trail in Bryce Canyon, Utah, USA, planet Earth? Walking along that path in this dark night skyscape, you can almost imagine your journey continues along the pale, luminous Milky Way. Of course, the name for our galaxy, the Milky Way (in Latin, Via Lactea), does refer to its appearance as a milky band or path in the sky. In fact, the word galaxy itself derives from the Greek for milk. Visible on moonless nights from dark sky areas, though not so bright or quite so colorful as in this image, the glowing...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- One-Armed Spiral Galaxy NGC 4725

    05/30/2013 2:48:35 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | May 30, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: While most spiral galaxies, including our own Milky Way, have two or more spiral arms, NGC 4725 has only one. In this sharp color composite image, the solo spira mirabilis seems to wind from a prominent ring of bluish, newborn star clusters and red tinted star forming regions. The odd galaxy also sports obscuring dust lanes a yellowish central bar structure composed of an older population of stars. NGC 4725 is over 100 thousand light-years across and lies 41 million light-years away in the well-groomed constellation Coma Berenices. Computer simulations of the formation of single spiral arms suggest that...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Waterfall and the World at Night

    05/17/2013 3:56:40 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | May 17, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Above this boreal landscape, the arc of the Milky Way and shimmering aurorae flow through the night. Like an echo, below them lies Iceland's spectacular Godafoss, the Waterfall of the Gods. Shining just below the Milky Way, bright Jupiter is included in the panoramic nightscape recorded on March 9. Faint and diffuse, the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) appears immersed in the auroral glow. The digital stitch of four frames is a first place winner in the 2013 International Earth and Sky Photo Contest on Dark Skies Importance organized by The World at Night. An evocative record of the beauty of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way and Stone Tree

    04/29/2013 7:22:49 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | April 29, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that next to the Milky Way? An unusual natural rock formation known as Roque Cinchado or Stone Tree found on the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife. A famous icon, Roque Cinchado is likely a dense plug of cooled volcanic magma that remains after softer surrounding rock eroded away. Majestically, the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy is visible arcing across the right of the above seven image panoramic mosaic taken during the summer of 2010. On the far right is the Teide volcano complete with a lenticular cloud hovering near its peak.
  • Dung beetles guided by Milky Way

    01/24/2013 11:33:39 AM PST · by skinkinthegrass · 38 replies
    nbcnews.com ^ | Jan. 21, 2013 | Alan Boyle
    When dung beetles roll their tiny balls of poop across the sands of South Africa on a moonless night, they look to the glow of our Milky Way galaxy as a navigational aid, researchers report. "Even on clear, moonless nights, many dung beetles still manage to orientate along straight paths," Marie Dacke, a biologist at Sweden's Lund University, said in a news release. "This led us to suspect that the beetles exploit the starry sky for orientation — a feat that had, to our knowledge, never before been demonstrated in an insect."
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Grand Spiral Galaxy NGC 7424

    01/08/2013 6:47:16 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | January 08, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The grand, winding arms are almost mesmerizing in this face-on view of NGC 7424, a spiral galaxy with a prominent central bar. About 40 million light-years distant in the headlong constellation Grus, this island universe is also about 100,000 light-years across making it remarkably similar to our own Milky Way. Following along the winding arms, many bright clusters of massive young stars can be found. The star clusters themselves are several hundred light-years in diameter. And while massive stars are born in the arms of NGC 7424, they also die there. Notably, this galaxy was home to a powerful...
  • Study: Billions of Earth-size planets in Milky Way (In search of a 'Goldilocks' zone planet)

    01/07/2013 12:04:14 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 49 replies
    Yahoo ^ | 1/7/13 | Associated Press
    LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Astronomers hunting for Earth-like planets now have many places to look. A new estimate released Monday suggested the Milky Way galaxy is home to at least 17 billion planets similar in size to our planet. It doesn't mean all are potentially habitable, but the sheer number of Earth-size planets is a welcome starting point in the search for worlds like our own. Scientists have yet to find a twin Earth — one that's not only the right size but also located in the so-called Goldilocks zone, a place that's not too hot and not too...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M33: Triangulum Galaxy

    12/19/2012 9:29:54 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | December 20, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The small, northern constellation Triangulum harbors this magnificent face-on spiral galaxy, M33. Its popular names include the Pinwheel Galaxy or just the Triangulum Galaxy. M33 is over 50,000 light-years in diameter, third largest in the Local Group of galaxies after the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), and our own Milky Way. About 3 million light-years from the Milky Way, M33 is itself thought to be a satellite of the Andromeda Galaxy and astronomers in these two galaxies would likely have spectacular views of each other's grand spiral star systems. As for the view from planet Earth, this sharp composite image, a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Yosemite Winter Night

    12/25/2012 8:30:36 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    NASA ^ | December 25, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In this evocative night skyscape a starry band of the Milky Way climbs over Yosemite Valley, Sierra Nevada Range, planet Earth. Jupiter is the brightest celestial beacon on the wintry scene, though. Standing nearly opposite the Sun in the constellation Taurus, the wandering planet joins yellowish Aldebaran and the Hyades star cluster. Below, Orion always comes up sideways over a fence of mountains. And from there the twin stars of Gemini rise just across the Milky Way. As this peaceful winter night began, they followed Auriga the charioteer, its alpha star Capella near the top of the frame.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest

    12/11/2012 9:40:55 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | December 12, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In front of a famous background of stars and galaxies lies some of Earth's more unusual trees. Known as quiver trees, they are actually succulent aloe plants that can grow to tree-like proportions. The quiver tree name is derived from the historical usefulness of their hollowed branches as dart holders. Occurring primarily in southern Africa, the trees pictured in the above 16-exposure composite are in Quiver Tree Forest located in southern Namibia. Some of the tallest quiver trees in the park are estimated to be about 300 years old. Behind the trees is light from the small town of...
  • Galaxy Grande: Milky Way May Be More Massive Than Thought

    12/03/2012 10:02:45 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 22 replies
    Scientific American ^ | 12/3/12 | Ken Croswell
    Hubble observations of a speedy galaxy weigh on the Milky Way and indicate that our galaxy is at least a trillion times as massive as the sunMilky Way GREAT GALAXY: The Milky Way maintains a fleet of some two dozen satellite galaxies whose motions help reveal its mass. Image: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team Although scientists know the masses of the sun and Earth, it's a different story for the galaxy. Mass estimates range widely: At the low end, some studies find that the galaxy is several hundred billion times as massive as the sun whereas the largest values exceed two trillion...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Zodiacal Light and Milky Way

    10/21/2012 6:20:33 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | October 20, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Ghostly apparitions of two fundamental planes in planet Earth's sky span this October all-sky view. The scene was captured from a lakeside campsite under dark skies in northern Maine, USA. In it, the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy arcs above faint airglow along the horizon. Zodiacal light, a band of dust scattering sunlight along the solar system's ecliptic plane, stretches almost horizontally across the wide field and intersects the Milky way near a point marked by bright planet Jupiter. Right of Jupiter, past the Pleiades star cluster, is the brightening of the Zodiacal band known as the Gegenschein,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way Over the Bungle Bungles

    09/11/2012 4:21:41 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | September 11, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Which part of this picture do you find more interesting -- the land or the sky? Advocates for the land might cite the beauty of the ancient domes of the Bungle Bungle Range in Western Australia. These picturesque domes appear as huge layered beehives and are made of sandstones and conglomerates deposited over 350 million years ago. Advocates for the sky might laud the beauty of the Milky Way's central band shown arching from horizon to horizon. The photogenic Milky Way band formed over 10 billion years ago and now includes many well-known nebulae and bright stars. Fortunately, you...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Milky Way Over Monument Valley

    08/01/2012 2:07:49 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | August 01, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: You don't have to be at Monument Valley to see the Milky Way arch across the sky like this -- but it helps. Only at Monument Valley USA would you see a picturesque foreground that includes these iconic rock peaks called buttes. Buttes are composed of hard rock left behind after water has eroded away the surrounding soft rock. In the above image taken about two months ago, the closest butte on the left and the butte to its right are known as the Mittens, while Merrick Butte can be seen just further to the right. High overhead stretches...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way Above Easter Island

    06/18/2012 2:39:51 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | June 18, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why were the statues on Easter Island built? No one is sure. What is sure is that over 800 large stone statues exist there. The Easter Island statues, stand, on the average, over twice as tall as a person and have over 200 times as much mass. Few specifics are known about the history or meaning of the unusual statues, but many believe that they were created about 500 years ago in the images of local leaders of a lost civilization. Pictured above, some of the stone giants were illuminated in 2009 under the central band of our Milky...
  • Milky Way Time Lapse ....Excerpts from Temporal Distortion Extended Cut

    06/06/2012 10:55:07 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 30 replies
    DakotaLapse ^ | june 6, 2012 | myself
    Excerpts from Temporal Distortion Extended CutThe Milky way views are excellent....it is preceded by short commercials ....
  • Milky Way Galaxy Doomed to Head-On Crash with Andromeda (We'Re DooMed In 4 billion years Alert!! )

    05/31/2012 6:54:00 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 73 replies
    SPACE.com ^ | 5/31/12 | Mike Wall
    Four billion years from now, the Milky Way galaxy as we know it will cease to exist. Our Milky Way is bound for a head-on collision with the similar-sized Andromeda galaxy, researchers announced today (May 31). Over time, the huge galactic smashup will create an entirely new hybrid galaxy, one likely bearing an elliptical shape rather than the Milky Way's trademark spiral-armed disk. "We do know of other galaxies in the local universe around us that are in the process of colliding and merging," Roeland van der Marel, of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, told reporters today. "However,...
  • Has Dark Matter Gone Missing?

    04/19/2012 9:54:03 PM PDT · by neverdem · 41 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 19 April 2012 | Adrian Cho
    Enlarge Image Home sweet home. In the vicinity of the sun, our Milky Way galaxy seems to contain no dark matter, one team of astronomers claims. Credit: Serge Brunier/NASA If a new study is true, then the search for dark matter just got a lot weirder. Our little corner of the Milky Way contains no observable concentration of the mysterious stuff whose gravity binds the galaxy, claims one team of astronomers. That finding would present a major problem for models of how galaxies form and may undermine the whole notion of dark matter, the researchers claim. But some scientists...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Rocket Trails in the Milky Way

    03/28/2012 9:12:55 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | March 29, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On March 27, five sounding rockets leapt into early morning skies from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Part of the Anomalous Transport Rocket EXperiment (ATREX), begining at 4:58 am EDT the rockets launched consecutively at 80 second intervals. Releasing a chemical tracer they created luminous white clouds within Earth's ionosphere at altitudes above 60 to 65 miles, swept along by the poorly understood high-altitude jet stream. (Not the same jet stream that airliners fly through at altitudes of 5 to 6 miles.) Seen along the mid-atlantic region of the United States, the clouds drifted through starry skies, captured...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Wide Field Image of the Galactic Center

    01/06/2012 2:27:26 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | January 06, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: From Sagittarius to Scorpius, the central Milky Way is a truly beautiful part of planet Earth's night sky. The gorgeous region is captured in this wide field image spanning about 30 degrees. The impressive cosmic vista, taken in 2010, shows off intricate dust lanes, bright nebulae, and star clusters scattered through our galaxy's rich central starfields. Starting on the left, look for the Lagoon and Trifid nebulae, the Cat's Paw, while on the right lies the Pipe dark nebula, and the colorful clouds of Rho Ophiuchi and Antares (right). The actual center of our Galaxy lies about 26,000 light...