The spiral galaxy we live in, known as the Milky Way, is a massive place. From outer arm to outer arm, it's a whopping 100,000 light years across. But using a variety of astronomical instruments, scientists have now confirmed there's a spiral galaxy more than five times bigger than the one we live in, and now we can see what it looks like.
At the center of our galaxy is a black hole nine light-years wide and four million times more massive than our Sun. It's a monstrous astronomical creature that devours matter, and thanks to a very sophisticated telescope we've got a better picture of what that looks like.
Hey kids, want to see something cool in the sky without dragging out a pesky telescope? Well, just wait a few months, because 2013 could bring with it a comet so bright that it will outshine a full moon.
The Mayan Apocalypse didn't happen last week, and we're all back to living our lives, but it turns out there's another opportunity for world-ending calamity on the horizon. There's an asteroid out there that could slam into our planet in 2040. But will it? NASA's got the answer.
A while back, we brought you news of a supermassive black hole that was 17 billion times more massive than our sun, making it among the biggest black holes ever found. We didn't think they could get much bigger than that, but new research suggests they can, and there may be more of these monsters than we ever thought.
Astronomers are finding potential new planets out in the cosmos all the time now, and though it seems more and more of those planets are turning out to possibly be habitable, they're all so far away that it seems humanity will never reach them. But now another possibly habitable planet has popped up, and though it's still far away, it's the closest one to our solar system we've ever seen.
The most exciting thing we can usually think of when we think of asteroids is how we might stop one from crashing into Earth someday, but now scientists have given us another bit of asteroid intrigue. A NASA probe just sent us images from one of the biggest space rocks in the asteroid belt, and they show some pretty strange topography.
Astronomers have long known that our solar system came of age during a violent time in our universe, but even they seem to have underestimated just how violent. Two NASA probes have just produced an extremely high definition "gravity map" of the Moon, and it reveals that the lunar crust was once torn to shreds by impacts.
Remember the Voyager 1 probe? It's 35 years old now, but it's still out there exploring the far reaches of our solar system, and this week NASA announced that it found something amazing and unexpected: a "magnetic highway" that serves as the "exit ramp" to the rest of space.
Though we tend to focus much of our attention on Mars when it comes to the search for signs of life on other planets, NASA is busy checking out our other planetary neighbors too, and today they announced a huge discovery. Mercury, the closest planet to the sun, has water.