Milky Way swallows up stream of stars

Using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, researchers have discovered a stream of stars believed to be the remnant of an ancient cluster slowly being ingested by our own Milky Way galaxy.

The 84 million stars of the central Milky Way

An international team of astronomers has created a catalogue of more than 84 million stars in the central parts of the Milky Way using a 9-gigapixel image from the VISTA infrared survey telescope.

Galactic black hole emits massive flare

 NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) has taken its first look at the giant black hole at the center of our galaxy - and caught it right in the middle of a flare-up.

Stellar-mass black hole stalks the Milky Way

NASA's Swift satellite recently detected a rising tide of high-energy X-rays from a source toward the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

Super-hot gas halo surrounds our galaxy

Our Milky Way Galaxy is surrounded by an enormous halo of hot gas hundreds of thousands of light years across, and with as much mass as all the stars in the galaxy.

Milky Way's 'twin' discovered

Astronomers have for the first time found other groups of galaxies that are just like ours.

Exploring the heart of a supernova

An average of two massive stars in our Milky Way galaxy explode each century, producing magnificent supernovae when they detonate. 

Milky Way still rings like a bell after cosmic crash

Our galaxy is still reverberating from a strike by a small galaxy or massive dark matter structure.

A closer look at the War and Peace Nebula

Deep in the Milky Way constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion) lies the War and Peace Nebula, or NGC 6357. This is a vast region of space where new stars are born in of chaotic clouds of gas and dust.

Video: NASA’s NuSTAR launches

Following a successful launch, NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) has begun its mission to discover secrets of buried black holes and other exotic objects.

Milky Way set for head-on crash with Andromeda galaxy

Look out: we're headed for a crash. In, ooh, just four billion years or so our Milky Way galaxy is set to collide with neighboring Andromeda.

Ghostly gamma-ray beams haunt the Milky Way

Astronomers have determined that the Milky Way's central black hole was quite active in the past.

Black holes expand by eating stars

Most galaxies, including our own Milky Way, feature a supermassive black hole at their center weighing millions to billions of suns. 

But how do those black holes grow so hefty?

These rocky Milky Way planets are in habitable zones

Astronomers have long searched for habitable exoplanets orbiting red dwarf stars (M dwarfs), which are considered the most common type of star in the Milky Way galaxy.

Stellar mass black hole found in Andromeda

A study of X-rays emitted a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away has positively identified a stellar mass black hole in Andromeda, a spiral galaxy located about 2.6 million light-years from Earth.

Milky Way's black hole seen vaporizing asteroids

The supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A has been observed emitting X-ray flares, lasting a few hours, about once a day.

Almost all Milky Way stars have planets

The vast majority of stars in our Milky Way galaxy have at least one planet orbiting them, astronomers have concluded - and lots of these could be comparatively Earth-like.

Gas cloud spirals into Milky Way black hole

Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope have spotted a giant gas cloud being sucked into the supermassive black hole at the heart of our galaxy.

Cosmic 'umbilical cord' discovered

Australian astronomers say they've found proof of a vast filament of material that connects our Milky Way galaxy to nearby clusters of galaxies and on to the rest of the universe.

Galactic collisions shaped Milky Way

UC Irvine astronomers have shown how the Milky Way galaxy's iconic spiral arms were formed - through an intergalactic collision.