An international team of astronomers has discovered an ancient and dramatic head-on collision between the Milky Way and a smaller object, dubbed ‘the Sausage galaxy’. The cosmic crash was a defining event in the early history of the Milky Way and reshaped the structure of our galaxy, fashioning both the galaxy’s inner bulge and its outer halo, the astronomers report in a series of new papers.
The European Space Agency’s Gaia mission has produced the richest star catalogue to date, including high-precision measurements of nearly 1.7 billion stars and revealing previously unseen details of our home Galaxy.
Astronomers have made the most detailed observation yet of an ultra-fast wind emanating from a Black Hole at a quarter of the speed of light. Using the European Space Agency (ESA)’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s NuSTAR telescopes, the scientists observed the phenomenon in an active galaxy known as IRAS 13224-3809.
The first results from the Gaia satellite, which is completing an unprecedented census of more than one billion stars in the Milky Way, are being released today to astronomers and the public.
An international team of astronomers has proved the existence of a ‘gravitational vortex’ around a black hole, solving a mystery that has eluded astronomers for more than 30 years. The discovery will allow astronomers to map the behaviour of matter very close to black holes. It could also open the door to future investigation of Albert Einstein’s general relativity.
With its very first – and last – observation, the Hitomi x-ray observatory has discovered that the gas in the Perseus cluster of galaxies is much less turbulent than expected, despite being home to NGC 1275, a highly energetic active galaxy.
Black holes are the most powerful gravitational force in the Universe. So what could cause them to be kicked out of their host galaxies? Cambridge researchers have developed a method for detecting elusive ‘black hole kicks.’
Astronomers have observed two black holes in nearby galaxies devouring their companion stars at an extremely high rate, and spitting out matter at a quarter the speed of light.