Milky Way

Our Milky Way Galaxy is one of the most mysterious galaxies we observe. That’s because we’re studying it from inside its spiral disk, surrounded by its stars, gas, and dust. But what we do see tells us a lot about the Milky Way’s formation. Astronomers have managed to piece together a map of what our galaxy looks like from the outside, though even counting its spiral arms has been a lesson in humility.

Still, the Milky Way has plenty of secrets. Astronomers are tenaciously trying to glimpse the silhouette of its supermassive black hole, and they’re working to discover what created the Fermi bubbles, the humongous dumbbell belched from the galaxy’s core.

Here you’ll find the latest news on the bustling stellar metropolis we live in, the dwarf galaxies that make up its suburbs, and our evolving picture of everything Milky Way.

Ripples in the Milky Way's Disk

A Galaxy Hit-and-Run

Ripples found in the Milky Way’s disk reveal our galaxy survived an ancient hit-and-run. Now, astronomers might have caught the culprit.

ripples in disk

Ripples in the Milky Way

Astronomers have detected what look like four undulations in the Milky Way Galaxy’s disk. If the structures are all part of the disk, our galaxy is more than half again as large as we thought it was.

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.