galaxy

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Paper: Advanced Civilizations May Be Stealing Starlight

Chicago professor Dan Hooper says it makes perfect sense

(Newser) - Watch out for stars moving across galaxies or losing power—it could be aliens gathering energy before the lights go out. Dan Hooper, an astronomy and astrophysics professor at the University of Chicago, posted a paper in the preprint journal arXiv.org arguing that aliens in far-off galaxies may be... More »

Interstellar 'Space Grease' Detected in Vast Quantities

'This space grease is not the kind of thing you’d want to spread on a slice of toast'

(Newser) - President Trump's " Space Force " might need to carry some heavy-duty cleaning products. A team of astronomers has determined that the universe is a much greasier and dirtier place than once thought, with grease-like molecules known as aliphatic carbon thinly spread throughout interstellar space, the Guardian reports. As... More »

Milky Way's Center Is a Black Hole 'Farm'

Researchers believe there are thousands

(Newser) - The center of our galaxy is teeming with black holes, sort of like a Times Square for strange super-gravity objects, astronomers have discovered. For decades, scientists theorized that circling in the center of galaxies, including ours, were lots of stellar black holes, collapsed giant stars where the gravity is so... More »

Galaxy With No Dark Matter Baffles Astronomers

NGC1052–DF2 is 'weird'

(Newser) - It's a double cosmic conundrum: Lots of stuff that was already invisible has gone missing. Astronomers have found a distant galaxy where there is no dark matter. Dark matter is called "dark" because it can't be seen. It is the mysterious and invisible skeleton of the universe... More »

Universe Has Way, Way More Galaxies Than We Thought

And that means a better chance of intelligent life somewhere out there

(Newser) - And you thought the universe made you feel small and insignificant before. Popular Science reports astronomers working with data from Hubble now say there are at least 2 trillion galaxies in the universe. That's at least 10 times as many as the 100 billion to 200 billion estimated back... More »

With Radio Telescope's First Image, 1.3K Galaxies Revealed

MeerKAT radio telescope will only get more impressive

(Newser) - Scientists promised it would be the world's most powerful radio telescope, capable of exploring dark energy, black holes, and traces of the universe's creation 14 billion years ago. South Africa's MeerKAT has already exceeded expectations. Though operating at a quarter of its eventual capacity with 16 of... More »

Astronomers Spot 'Biggest Structure in Universe'

Galaxy supercluster is 1B light years across

(Newser) - A newly identified cosmic feature is so enormous that it has left some of the finest minds in astronomy well and truly boggled. The BOSS—named after the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey—is a wall, or supercluster, of at least 830 galaxies connected by filaments of gas, which Smithsonian likens... More »

This Is the Farthest Galaxy Ever Spotted, Astronomers Say

They've discovered a galaxy from a time when the universe was just a 'toddler'

(Newser) - Astronomers say they have discovered a hot, star-popping galaxy that is far, far away—farther than any previously detected, from a time when the universe was a mere toddler of about 400 million years old. By employing a different technique—one that has raised some skepticism—a team of astronomers... More »

How Astronomers Confirmed the Universe Is Dying

First, you need some really big telescopes

(Newser) - How does one confirm that the universe is slowly dying? For starters, you use "as many space and ground-based telescopes as we could get our hands on." That according to Simon Driver, a principal investigator with the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) project. Driver explains that the group... More »

Astronomers Say We Owe Our Lives to These Stars

Galaxy CR7 said to contain some of the universe's earliest stars

(Newser) - Astronomers peering through the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a faraway galaxy of stars so significant, they say we wouldn't exist without them. The galaxy, known as Cosmos Redshift 7, or CR7—a name inspired by soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo—is three times... More »

Scan of 100K Galaxies Finds Zero 'Super-Civilizations'

Theoretical 'Kardashev III' galaxy masters may not exist

(Newser) - Super-civilizations that conquer entire galaxies may only exist in science fiction, a new study suggests. In the scale of possible civilizations proposed by Russian astronomer Nikolai Kardashev, highly advanced Type III civilizations are capable of harnessing the whole power of a galaxy, but a survey of the most promising 100,... More »

Milky Way Is a 'Galactic Lightweight'

Same-sized neighbor Andromeda has twice the mass

(Newser) - If our galaxy were a boxer, it would have just slipped down a few weight classes—and would be no match for our neighbor Andromeda. New research has revealed that the Milky Way, while still mind-bogglingly vast, is only around half the weight of the Andromeda galaxy, which is about... More »

To Search for Aliens, Look for ... Air Pollution?

Air pollution could signal intelligent life on other planets: researchers

(Newser) - Astrobiologists look for extraterrestrial life by searching for gases (i.e. methane and oxygen) that suggest the possibility of life, or for radio or laser signals in the hopes of communicating with distant alien life forms. But now a team of astronomers at Harvard is suggesting we also look for... More »

Astonishing NASA Image Captures Color of 10K Galaxies

Hubble shot spans light spectrum, took 841 orbits to create

(Newser) - Thousands of galaxies of all ages, shapes, and colors can be seen in a stunning new image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Some of the oldest galaxies visible appear as light from nearly 12 billion years ago, almost as old as the universe, but NASA says the most exciting... More »

Tiny 'Fossil Galaxy' Could Hold Clues to Early Universe

Segue 1 apparently stopped evolving 13B years ago

(Newser) - One of our galactic neighbors, the tiny Segue 1, could be among the first galaxies ever to take shape—and it may present an opportunity for scientists to examine our universe as an infant. Segue 1's chemical composition suggests it stopped evolving some 13 billion years ago, Scientific American... More »

Dark Matter's 'Cosmic Web' Spotted for 1st Time

Scientists see glue that holds universe together

(Newser) - Scientists have seen a tendril of dark matter for the first time, and all it took was a "cosmic flashlight." Using the Keck telescope in Hawaii, a scientific team spotted the dark matter in a gas cloud illuminated by the radiation of a distant quasar, the BBC reports.... More »

Newly Found Galaxy Is Oldest One Yet

It emerged about 700 million years after the Big Bang

(Newser) - Residents of the Milky Way, meet z8_GND_5296. That's the not-so-great name of a newly discovered galaxy that just happens to be the most distant—and thus oldest—ever spotted, reports CBS News . Scientists say it formed a mere 700 million years after the Big Bang, and it could shed... More »

Milky Way Has 17B Planets the Size of Ours

And that's a conservative estimate

(Newser) - Before we start feeling too special about our home planet, scientists have a message: There are at least 17 billion planets the size of Earth in the Milky Way alone, Space.com reports. About 17% of our galaxy's stars have Earth-size exoplanets closely orbiting them—so 100 billion stars... More »

Milky Way: Home to 100B+ Planets

New study comes up with conservative estimate

(Newser) - Scientists have done a sort of "cosmic census," completing a new study that finds the Milky Way galaxy is home to 100 billion alien planets—and maybe even many more than that. "It's a staggering number, if you think about it," says the lead author.... More »

Massive Black Hole Stumps Scientists

Its mass equals 17B suns, turning previous theory on its head

(Newser) - An enormous, newly discovered black hole has scientists questioning what they thought they knew about black holes to begin with. Usually, supermassive black holes make up about 0.1% of the mass of the stars at a galaxy's center, known as a stellar bulge. But in this case, the... More »

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