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This illustration envisions the Milky Way galaxy's gas recycling above and below its stellar disk. Hubble observes the invisible gas clouds rising and falling with its sensitive Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) instrument. The spectroscopic signature of the light from background quasars shining through the clouds gives information about their motion. Quasar light is redshifted in clouds shooting up and away from the galactic plane, while quasar light passing through gas falling back down appears blueshifted. This differentiation allows Hubble to conduct an accurate audit of the outflowing and inflowing gas in the Milky Way's busy halo — revealing an unexpected and so-far unexplained surplus of inflowing gas. Credits: NASA, ESA and D. Player (STScI)

An unexplained surplus of gas flowing into our home galaxy

The new gas could be coming from the intergalactic medium.
Illustration of the MAXI J1820+070 Black Hole (Credit John Paice)

Scientists created a high frame-rate movie of a growing black hole

Violent flaring revealed at the heart of a black hole system.
Our galaxy is on collision course with nearby Andromeda galaxy

Our Milky Way galaxy is on collision course with nearby Andromeda galaxy

The violent history of the big galaxy next door.
Radio image of the central portions of the Milky Way galaxy. The plane of the galaxy is marked by a series of bright features, exploded stars and regions where new stars are being born, and runs horizontally through the image. The black hole at the center of the Milky Way is hidden in the brightest of these extended regions. The radio bubbles discovered by MeerKAT extend vertically above and below the plane of the galaxy. Many magnetized filaments can be seen running parallel to the bubbles. (Adapted from results published in Heywood et al. 2019.) CREDIT Oxford, SARAO

Towering balloon-like features discovered near center of the Milky Way

The result of a phenomenally energetic burst that erupted near the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole a few million years ago.
Busy older stars outpace stellar youngsters, study

Busy older stars outpace stellar youngsters, study

Older stars are move active because they have been around the longest, and because they were formed during a period when the Galaxy was a bit more violent, with lots of star formation happening and lots of disturbance from gasses and smaller satellite galaxies.
X-ray (NASA/CXC/SAO/A.Vikhlinin et al.); Optical (SDSS)

Scientists discovered the largest observed black hole to date

Scientists have found the largest black hole ever observed at the center of Holm 15A, a galaxy about 700 million light-years away.
Colourful and wispy Sharpless 2-296 forms the “wings” of an area of sky known as the Seagull Nebula — named for its resemblance to a gull in flight. This celestial bird contains a fascinating mix of intriguing astronomical objects. Glowing clouds weave amid dark dust lanes and bright stars. The Seagull Nebula — made up of dust, hydrogen, helium and traces of heavier elements — is the hot and energetic birthplace of new stars. Credit: ESO/VPHAS+ team/N.J. Wright (Keele University)

Anatomy of a Cosmic Seagull

Colourful and wispy, this intriguing collection of objects is known as the Seagull Nebula, named for its resemblance to a gull in flight. Made...
warped milky way

A unique three-dimensional map of the Milky Way

The most detailed three-dimensional map of the Milky Way has been revealed, showing that our galaxy is not a flat disc but has a warped shape.
This image, a composite of several observations captured by ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST), shows the space observatory Gaia as a faint trail of dots across the lower half of the star-filled field of view. These observations were taken as part of an ongoing collaborative effort to measure Gaia’s orbit and improve the accuracy of its unprecedented star map. Credit: ESO

Pinpointing Gaia to Map the Milky Way

Gaia, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), surveys the sky from orbit to create the largest, most precise, three-dimensional map of our Galaxy....

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