Category Archives: Universe

Milky Way’s shredded companion provides clues about dark matter

The Milky Way hasn’t been kind to the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy. The gravity of the Milky Way has shredded and stretched the clump of stars 70,000 light-years away into a filamentous stream. Scientists have now carefully mapped Sagittarius, and they’ve used that map to offer a long-awaited picture of the mysterious dark matter halo in […]

Remains of impact that created the Moon may lie deep within Earth

Scientists have long agreed that the Moon formed when a protoplanet, called Theia, struck Earth in its infancy some 4.5 billion years ago. Theia’s remains may be located in two continent-sized layers of rock buried deep inside the Earth’s mantle, a group of experts has now proposed. Seismologists have been puzzled by these two blobs […]

A new 3D map of the Milky Way flaunts our galaxy’s warped shape

The galaxy we live in is totally bent out of shape. At least, that’s what the latest three-dimensional map of the Milky Way has to say. By pinpointing the locations of more than 2,400 pulsing stars—including some from the outermost edges of our galaxy—scientists have charted out a stellar atlas that might give us one […]

6 billion planets like Earth? Scientists make stunning estimate

Astronomers do new research using data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope. According to the researchers, there could be as many as six billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy alone. The scientists looked for worlds that could sustain life. Maybe you think one Earth is enough. But what if the number was in the billions? According […]

Is the universe a graveyard? This theory suggests humanity may be alone.

We’ve been looking to the stars for alien life ever since we developed the technology. It is presumed that we are attempting to locate other life in the universe, but what if we are looking to ensure that there is none? Here’s an equation, and it’s a fairly frightening one: N = R*× fP × ne × f1 × fi × fc × L. The Drake equation describes […]

A Supermassive Black Hole Just Flipped its Entire Magnetic Field

Black holes are incredibly powerful cosmic engines. They are the source of energy for quasars and other active galactic nuclei (AGNs). This is because matter interacts with its enormous gravitational and magnetic fields. Technically, a black hole does not have its own magnetic field, but the dense plasma surrounding it as an accretion disk does. […]

Meet the Milky Way’s neighbor: the Andromeda Galaxy

In this infrared image of the Andromeda Galaxy taken by the European Space Agency’s Herschel probe, newly formed stars shine blazing brilliant. When the galaxy merges with the Milky Way, its spiral structure, which is identical to that of the Milky Way, will morph into one huge elliptical galaxy.X-ray: ESA/XMM Newton/EPIC/W. Pietsch, MPE; Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/J. Fritz, […]

Found: The first exoplanet outside of our Milky Way

The Whirlpool Galaxy in X-ray and optical light (left). The M51-ULS-1 system is shown on the right as an artist’s concept, with the neutron star or black hole syphoning material from its companion star. The planet is obscuring the X-rays generated by the superheated material surrounding the compact object. NASA/CXC/SAO/R. DiStefano et al., X-ray; NASA/ESA/STScI/Grendler, […]