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Astrophysicists make stellar discovery about galaxies far, far away

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The Andromeda Galaxy. (Credit: GALEX, JPL-Caltech, NASA)

Jan. 3, 2013 — Andromeda is the nearest 'large' galaxy to the Milky Way, at 2.5 million light years away. Its size and disc-like structure is similar to the Milky Way, and it's often referred to as our companion galaxy. The next closest large galaxy is 10 million light years away.

This new study observes 13 smaller satellite galaxies orbiting around the immense Andromeda galaxy in a way similar to how the planets in our solar system orbit around the sun. The galaxies are orbiting on a thin, pancake-like plane at a scale 900 million times larger than our own solar system.

"These dwarf galaxies appear to have formed together in the structure...

Eulogy to Herschel

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Jan. 2, 2013 — With its 2160 litres of liquid helium about to run out, the Herschel Space Observatory will, by the end of March, become just another piece of space junk.

In January's Physics World, Steve Eales, a University of Cardiff astronomer who leads one of the telescope's largest surveys, explains how this space facility has advanced our understanding of star and galaxy formation.

Sub-millimetre wavelength astronomy -- the kind of astronomy that the European Space...

Hubble eyes the needle galaxy: IC 2233, one of the flattest galaxies known

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Spiral galaxy IC 2233. (Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA)

Dec. 28, 2012 — Like finding a silver needle in the haystack of space, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced a beautiful image of the spiral galaxy IC 2233, one of the flattest galaxies known.

Typical spiral galaxies like the Milky Way are usually made up of three principal visible components: the disk where the spiral arms and most of the gas and dust is concentrated; the halo, a rough and...

Armchair science: Bag and tag glowing galactic clouds

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This is a screen shot from the Clouds game, a new addition to the Milky Way Project, where everyone can help astronomers sort and measure our galaxy. (Credit: Copyright 2010-2012 Zooniverse)

Dec. 20, 2012 — A new galactic game launches today that lets citizen scientists identify the glowing clouds where future stars will be born. The online experience, called Clouds, is a new addition to the Milky Way Project, where everyone can help astronomers to sort and measure...

Seven primitive galaxies at the dawn of time

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This new image of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) 2012 campaign reveals a previously unseen population of seven faraway galaxies, which are observed as they appeared in a period 350 million to 600 million years after the big bang. (Credit: NASA, ESA, R. Ellis (Caltech), and the UDF 2012 Team)

Dec. 12, 2012 — Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have uncovered a previously unseen population of seven primitive galaxies that formed more than 13 billion...