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Milky Way Galaxy

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SCIENCE
August 23, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Our Milky Way is, by and large, a run-of-the-mill galaxy except for one thing. Actually, except for two things: the large and small Magellanic Clouds orbiting it. Astronomers had previously not seen such dwarf galaxies orbiting another spiral galaxy like ours, leading many to believe that the Milky Way was unique in this respect. But a new study from Australia suggests that although such complicated systems are not common, they are also not unique. Aaron Robotham of the University of Western Australia and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and his team used radio telescopes operated by the Australian node of the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research and the Australian Astronomical Observatory to search for similar galaxies in the southern skies.
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SCIENCE
November 1, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Is it time for an intervention of galactic proportions? Astronomers say they've caught the Milky Way popping pills - giant capsules of gas clouds encapsulated in magnetic fields that are hovering around the fringes of our galaxy. The findings, described in Astrophysical Journal, could help explain how the galaxy has been fueling new star growth. The Smith Cloud is a cloud of hydrogen gas discovered by and named after Gail Bieger (née Smith) that's hurtling toward our galaxy at roughly 73 kilometers per second.
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NEWS
February 22, 1987 | Compiled from Times staff and wire service reports
UCLA astronomers have discovered a brilliant star in the Milky Way galaxy that is spewing fire and ice and appears unique among celestial objects. The star, pinpointed in the distant fringes of the galaxy, is about 3,000 degrees centigrade, but the gases it emits cool so rapidly that they freeze as their temperature plummets to within 55 degrees of absolute zero, or about 405 below zero Fahrenheit.
SCIENCE
August 23, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Our Milky Way is, by and large, a run-of-the-mill galaxy except for one thing. Actually, except for two things: the large and small Magellanic Clouds orbiting it. Astronomers had previously not seen such dwarf galaxies orbiting another spiral galaxy like ours, leading many to believe that the Milky Way was unique in this respect. But a new study from Australia suggests that although such complicated systems are not common, they are also not unique. Aaron Robotham of the University of Western Australia and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and his team used radio telescopes operated by the Australian node of the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research and the Australian Astronomical Observatory to search for similar galaxies in the southern skies.
NEWS
November 3, 1994 | Associated Press
Astronomers have discovered a galaxy virtually in their own back yard, hidden behind the fuzzy streak the ancient Greeks dubbed the Milky Way. The galaxy is 10 million light-years away in the direction of the constellation Cassiopeia, said researcher Ofer Lahav of the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University in England.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 12, 1996 | From Times staff and wire reports
After a year in which scientists have discovered eight apparent planets outside the solar system, a new analysis concludes that we ain't seen nothin' yet. Hidden planets may be lurking around half the Milky Way galaxy's 100 billion stars, says a report in the Sept. 12 issue of Nature by researchers at Caltech and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Astronomers have identified what appear to be the oldest "living" stars in the Milky Way galaxy, and they appear to be nearly as old as the universe itself. The Milky Way is the galaxy of which the Earth and the sun are a part. Living stars are those that still burn hydrogen by nuclear reaction.
NEWS
August 27, 2001
Very high levels of lead have been discovered in three distant stars in the Milky Way galaxy by researchers using La Silla Observatory in Chile. The finding supports the long-held view that common stars toward the end of their life produce roughly half of the stable, heavier-than-iron elements in the universe. Lead and other elements are produced when nuclear fusion in a star adds neutrons to the atomic nuclei of lighter elements. Further information: http://www.eso.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 20, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Our Milky Way galaxy may have taken far longer to settle into its current shape than previously thought, according to a study published last week in Nature. For the past several decades, the standard view among astronomers was that a massive, spherical cloud of gas rapidly collapsed over a period no longer than 1 billion years to form the Milky Way's orderly spiral of stars.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 10, 1992 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A bubble of hot gas nearly 4 trillion miles across is expanding at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, a finding that adds to evidence for a black hole there, German researchers reported last week in the British journal Nature. The bubble is growing by perhaps about 200 miles a second, said astronomer Reinhard Genzel of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany.
SCIENCE
June 15, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Two distant galaxies that appear to be colliding in an image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope actually are not, researchers said this week; the apparent collision is simply a trick of perspective that occurs because both galaxies are in the same direction from Earth. They are actually tens of millions of light-years apart, about 10 times the distance between our own Milky Way galaxy and the nearby Andromeda galaxy. The object was originally designated NGC 3314 when lower-resolution imaging suggested it was only one galaxy.
SCIENCE
May 31, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / For Science Now
The Milky Way is set to collide with its closest neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, astronomers working with the Hubble Space Telescope said Thursday. Galactic residents need not brace for impact just yet, however: The predicted collision would take place in 4 billion years. Andromeda, officially known as Messier 31, or M31, is located about 2.5 million light-years away from the Milky Way - which would make it our closest fellow spiral galaxy. Spiral galaxies have flat, rotating, disc-shaped bodies with spiral arms  anchored by a supermassive black hole at the center.
SCIENCE
December 10, 2008 | John Johnson Jr., Johnson is a Times staff writer.
After 16 years of research, teams of American and European scientists have compiled the most complete portrait of the gigantic black hole at the center of the Milky Way, plotting its gravity-bending mass as being equivalent to a staggering 4 million suns. The researchers from Germany and UCLA also pinpoint the distance to the center of the galaxy at 27,000 light-years.
SCIENCE
May 17, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Astronomers have discovered the youngest known supernova in the Milky Way galaxy, still just a baby at 140 years old. The scientists, who announced their findings Wednesday, used a radio observatory in New Mexico and NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory in space to determine when the supernova occurred. They dated the event to around 1868. Before this, the youngest supernova in the Milky Way was thought to have occurred around 1680. A supernova is the catastrophic explosion of a star that releases an extraordinary amount of energy, enough to outshine an entire galaxy.
SCIENCE
October 15, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Dozens of massive stars, destined for short but brilliant lives, were born less than a light-year from the Milky Way's central black hole, one of the most hostile environments in our galaxy, astronomers reported Thursday. Researchers using the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory and other instruments believe there is a safe zone around black holes, a big dust ring where stars can form.
SCIENCE
August 20, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
From Earth, the Milky Way is a band of stars that lights up the night sky. From outside the galaxy looking in, astronomers say, it's an entirely different picture. Astronomers say a bar of stars cuts through the center of the galaxy that includes the sun and Earth. "We're pretty certain of the extent and orientation of this bar because we got more data than anybody else ... by a long shot," said Edward G.
SCIENCE
June 15, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Two distant galaxies that appear to be colliding in an image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope actually are not, researchers said this week; the apparent collision is simply a trick of perspective that occurs because both galaxies are in the same direction from Earth. They are actually tens of millions of light-years apart, about 10 times the distance between our own Milky Way galaxy and the nearby Andromeda galaxy. The object was originally designated NGC 3314 when lower-resolution imaging suggested it was only one galaxy.
SCIENCE
September 27, 2003 | Usha Lee McFarling, Times Staff Writer
Our Milky Way galaxy is a cannibal. A new view shows it is voraciously consuming one of its smaller galactic neighbors. The violent stretching, ripping and swallowing of the neighboring Sagittarius galaxy is not visible to human eyes because that galaxy is on the other side of the Milky Way and is obscured by numerous stars and clouds of dust. But a new infrared view of the skies taken by the Two Micron All Sky Survey, or 2MASS, reveals the destruction in vivid detail.
SCIENCE
September 27, 2003 | Usha Lee McFarling, Times Staff Writer
Our Milky Way galaxy is a cannibal. A new view shows it is voraciously consuming one of its smaller galactic neighbors. The violent stretching, ripping and swallowing of the neighboring Sagittarius galaxy is not visible to human eyes because that galaxy is on the other side of the Milky Way and is obscured by numerous stars and clouds of dust. But a new infrared view of the skies taken by the Two Micron All Sky Survey, or 2MASS, reveals the destruction in vivid detail.
SCIENCE
January 7, 2003 | From Associated Press
Like a celestial bully, the Milky Way may have ripped apart a smaller galaxy billions of years ago and scattered its stars into a faint surrounding ring. A survey scanning the outskirts of the Milky Way has found a belt of stars different in chemistry and in motion from stars within the galaxy, suggesting that they are the remnants of a galactic collision that may have occurred 10 billion years ago.
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