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Milky Way Mysteries Mapped

  Ever look up and wonder how many stars are out there in the night sky, and where did all these stars come from? Now astronomers have actually counted every single twinkling star visible from the night skies of Earth—and the number is astounding. Using the giant 8.2-foot (2.5-meter) glass eye of the Isaac Newton…

5 Sky Events This Week: Milky Way Gems Sparkle While Venus Snuggles With Leo

A bright moon steers skywatchers to Milky Way wonders this week.

Stunning Snapshot Reveals Dazzling Star Factories

A pair of glowing star factories beckon stargazers.

Milky Way Punier Than We Thought

The Milky Way looks less hefty, but just as beautiful as ever, this summer.

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…