NASA/WikiCommons Until recently it was thought neutron star mergers were the only way heavy elements (heavier than Zinc) could be produced. These mergers involve the mashup of the remnants of two massive stars in a binary system. But we know heavy elements were first produced not long after the Big Bang, when […]

Artist’s conception of the Milky Way galaxy. Credit: Pablo Carlos Budassi The spin of the Milky Way’s galactic bar, which is made up of billions of clustered stars, has slowed by about a quarter since its formation, according to a new study by researchers at University College London and the […]

Astronomers have spotted a giant ‘blinking’ star towards the center of the Milky Way, more than 25,000 light years away. An international team of astronomers observed the star, VVV-WIT-08, decreasing in brightness by a factor of 30, so that it nearly disappeared from the sky. While many stars change in […]

Galaxy UGC 10738, seen edge-on through the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, revealing distinct thick and thin discs. Credit: Jesse van de Sande/European Southern Observatory The first detailed cross-section of a galaxy broadly similar to the Milky Way, published today, reveals that our galaxy evolved gradually, instead of […]

The map reveals a bright patch, a wake of stars, beneath the Milky Way’s halo. In the bottom right, the Large Magellanic Cloud continues its orbit (Image credit: NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/Conroy et. al) The wake was revealed by a new map of the outermost region of our galaxy. A mysterious wake of […]

Artist’s rendition of our Milky Way galaxy colliding with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. Credit: NASA; ESA; A. Feild and R. van der Marel, STScI Sometime in the far distant future, about 4 billion years from now, our Milky Waygalaxy will collide with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy, as illustrated in this artist’s […]

“All planets in the Milky Way may be formed by the same building blocks, meaning that planets with the same amount of water and carbon as Earth,” says Professor Anders Johansen. Credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI) According to a new study from the University of Copenhagen, Earth, Venus, and Mars were […]

When most of us picture the shape of the Milky Way, the galaxy that contains our own sun and hundreds of billions of other stars, we think of a central mass surrounded by a flat disc of stars that spiral around it. However, astronomers know that rather than being symmetrical, the […]

An artistic rendering of generic stellar streams in the Milky Way. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt, SSC & Caltech Examination of Theia 456 finds its nearly 500 stars were born at same time. The Milky Way houses 8,292 recently discovered stellar streams — all named Theia. But Theia 456 is special. A stellar stream […]