galaxies, interstellar space, new discoveries

Galactic Odyssey: Exploring the Timeless Wonders of the Milky Way

In the grand tapestry of the cosmos, there exists a celestial wonder that has captured the imagination of humanity for eons — the Milky Way. Spanning vast stretches of the night sky, this cosmic masterpiece is more than just a distant spiral of stars. The Milky Way is humanity’s heavenly home, a beacon of mystery ...

Viena Abdon

A woman looking up at the Milky Way.

How Giant Baby Galaxies are Shaking up our Understanding of the Early Universe

“Look at this,” says Erica’s message. She is poring over the very first images from the brand-new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) of galaxies in the distant universe. It is July 2022, barely a week after those first images from the revolutionary super telescope were released. Twenty-five years in the making, a hundred to a ...

Troy Oakes

Six candidate assive galaxies.

NASA’s Webb Reaches New Milestone in Quest for Distant Galaxies

An international team of astronomers has used data from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to report the discovery of the earliest galaxies confirmed to date. The light from these galaxies has taken more than 13.4 billion years to reach us, as these galaxies date back to less than 400 million years after the Big Bang ...

Troy Oakes

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope.

ALMA Witnesses Deadly Star-Slinging Tug-of-War Between Merging Galaxies

While observing a newly-dormant galaxy using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), scientists discovered that it had stopped forming stars not because it had used up all of its gas, but because most of its star-forming fuel had been thrown out of the system as it merged with another galaxy. The ...

Troy Oakes

Two galaxies merging.

Hey Siri: How Much Does This Galaxy Cluster Weigh?

It’s been nearly a century since astronomer Fritz Zwicky first calculated the mass of the Coma Cluster, a dense galaxy cluster of almost 1,000 galaxies located in the nearby universe. But estimating the mass of something so huge and dense, not to mention 320 million light-years away, has its share of problems — then and ...

Troy Oakes

A spiral galaxy.

Putting the Theory of Special Relativity Into Practice, by Counting Galaxies

Scientists who study the cosmos have a favorite philosophy known as the “mediocrity principle,” which, in essence, suggests that there’s really nothing special about Earth, the Sun, or the Milky Way galaxy compared to the rest of the universe. Now, new research from CU Boulder adds yet another piece of evidence to the case for ...

Troy Oakes

The Milky Way galaxy behind Earth.

Scientists Discover How Galaxies Can Exist Without Dark Matter

 In a new Nature Astronomy study, an international team led by astrophysicists from the University of California, Irvine and Pomona College report how, when tiny galaxies collide with bigger ones, the bigger galaxies can strip the smaller galaxies of their dark matter — matter that we can’t see directly, but that astrophysicists think must exist because, without ...

Troy Oakes

Galaxy NGC 1052-DF2 is nearly entirely lacking in dark matter.

Galactic Fireworks: Stunning Features of Nearby Galaxies Revealed

Using the most advanced telescopes on Earth and in orbit, scientists like Dr. Rebecca McElroy have gained unprecedented access to nearby galaxies, investigating how clouds of cold gas coalesce into hot balls of nuclear fusion giving birth to stars and stunning galactic fireworks. Breathtaking images of galaxies close to the Milky Way have been released ...

Troy Oakes

Spiral galaxy observed by Hubble.