Galaxies

With more than 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, the exciting discoveries and unanswered questions are endless. We bring you the latest news in galaxies and galaxy formation. Each galaxy is unique, ranging from peculiar galaxies, morphed from tidal interactions, to the vast and breathtakingly beautiful spiral galaxies imaged in so many galaxy pictures.

Astronomers have used the Hubble Space Telescope to peer deep into the history of the universe, mapping galaxy formation by first examining distant quasars —supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies which are rapidly accreting material and shining brightly — in the early universe. We’re continuing to learn how galaxies form, evolve, and shape the beloved universe we call home.

Teacup Galaxy

Tempest in the Teacup Galaxy

New observations of the Teacup Galaxy show that even black holes with wimpy radio jets can quench a galaxy's star formation. An unassuming nearby galaxy nicknamed The Teacup (more formally known as J1430+1339) hides a tempest inside. The supermassive black hole at this galaxy's center is chowing down furiously on gas — seen from...

PHAT field for M31

Charting the Andromeda Galaxy

The Hubble Space Telescope has turned its ultraviolet, visible-light, and near-infrared eyes to the queen of galaxies, M31, capturing the biggest and sharpest image yet of our neighbor.

Quasar illustration

The Quasar Main Sequence

A new diagram might link the diverse visible-light characteristics of quasars to two physical properties — essentially, their accretion rate and orientation. If the analysis holds up, it could point the way toward a long-sought unification.

local supercluster

Laniakea: Our Home Supercluster

Astronomers have mapped the cosmic watershed and discovered a massive supercluster that extends more than 500 million light-years and contains 100,000 large galaxies. The Milky Way sits on the edge of this humongous structure.

NGC 5548.ESA/Hubble and NASA. Acknowledgement: Davide de Martin.

Gas Streamer Eclipses AGN

Astronomers have detected a high-speed, long-lasting gas streamer spewing from the active galactic nucleus of NGC 5548. This discovery might provide new insights into how supermassive black holes influence their host galaxies.