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Milky Way’s Most Distant Stars Spotted

Astronomers have spotted the most distant stars still inside the Milky Way Galaxy.

Top Night Sky Photo Winners for 2014

Award winning astronomy photos sparkled this week.

Stunning Snapshot: Southern Star Cluster Helps Unlock Galactic Mysteries

A colorful star cluster offers a delightful viewing opportunity for both professional astronomers and amateur skywatchers.

Track Down the Sun’s Newfound Sister

Alone no more, a long-lost sibling to the sun appears to have been found 110 light-years from us. Astronomers think it will allow them to trace our stellar ancestry. Dubbed HD 162826, the familiar-looking yellow star is thought to have been born in the same ancient gas cloud  as the sun. The same gas cloud…

NASA Unveils Stunning New Milky Way Portrait

Talk about an out-of-this-world map! NASA has unveiled a stunning new clickable panoramic portrait of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. The zoomable, 360-degree view was constructed from more than two million infrared snapshots taken over the past ten years by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. “If we actually printed this out, we’d need a billboard…

Newfound Star May Be Oldest in the Universe

The ultimate age barrier has been broken. The oldest living star in the entire universe may have been discovered—one formed only one or two hundred million years after the Big Bang itself. The ancient star, born some 13.6 billion years ago, bests the previous record handily, by 400 million years, and offers a unique view into what…

Star-Studded Timelapse Video From Chile’s High-Desert

When stargazers dream of the ultimate destination for looking up at the heavens, the high-altitude Atacama Desert in northern Chile likely stands at the top of the list. Nature videographer Nicholas Buer recently shot this stunning film, taken over 12 days while he camped out in the San Pedro de Atacama region of northern Chile. Sitting at an altitude…

Cosmic Crash at Milky Way Core?

This artist’s conception shows a supermassive black hole, with millions of times the mass of our sun, buried at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy. Credit: NASA Astronomers around the world are on a cosmic stakeout, closely watching the supermassive black hole—lurking at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy—that is about to gobble…

Billion Star Sky Surveyor Launches

Astronomers plan on rewriting the star-charts with the latest space telescope, which aims at unlocking the secrets behind the birth and evolution of our home galaxy. Europe’s new Milky Way Galaxy mapping-mission, called Gaia, is about to embark on a space mission that should create the most detailed three-dimensional star chart of the nearest billion…

New Cosmic Mystery: Butterfly Nebulae Align

Astronomers have stumbled on a cosmic mystery surrounding some of the most beautiful objects in our galaxy.  New deep-sky images of the Milky Way’s central core reveal picturesque butterfly-shaped gas clouds left behind by dying stars called bipolar planetary nebulae. And all appear to be mysteriously aligned with one another. Planetary nebulae form during the…

4 Sky Events This Week: Summer Superstars, Milky Way Rising

As the waning moon moves across late night skies through the faint constellations of Capricornus and Pisces, some of the new season’s brightest stars take center stage. Vega and Arcturus. On Monday, June 24 two of the brightest stars of the northern summer will bracket the skies after nightfall. Toward the high east will be the…

Smallest Galaxy Ever Discovered Bolsters Dark Matter Theory

  This week, astronomers announced that they have managed to weigh a minuscule galaxy that breaks the record for the smallest ever detected and may help shed light on mysterious dark matter. With only 1000 stars huddled together, this galactic featherweight dubbed Segue 2 has just enough mass  for dark matter to act as a…

New Night Sky Timelapse Video: Stars and Storms Vie for Attention

Breathtaking shots of the ground and sky dominate this striking time-lapse video shot in South Dakota and Wyoming between April and October of 2012 by veteran photographer Randy Halverson. One highlight: the footage shows the Milky Way galaxy’s bright central hub — located more than 30,000 light years away — repeatedly gliding across the frame…

Dung Beetles Navigate Via the Milky Way, First Known in Animal Kingdom

Talk about star power—a new study shows that dung beetles navigate via the Milky Way, a first in the animal kingdom.

Biggest Star Party in the Universe

The following is a guest post from Anne Minard, an accomplished writer and fellow space geek. Anne writes for NatGeo News a bunch and has even written a whole book [and a good one, too] on poor demoted Pluto. Like what you read? Check out more of Anne’s blogginess at 100 Days of Science. —Left…