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.

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.

AGN_Artists_Conception

A New Galactic Yardstick

Astronomers have developed a new method to measure distances to bright but faraway galaxies, a tool which will help better constrain the expansion rate of the universe.

http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2000/2000/37/image/a/

Dust in the Heart of Circinus

Infrared observations of the Circinus Galaxy may help reveal the shape of the dusty region fueling its active galactic nucleus and shed light on what governs dust structures in other galaxies.

B-mode discovery telescope

Direct Evidence of Big Bang Inflation

Researchers with an experiment based at the South Pole have discovered the long-sought "smoking gun" for inflation. The signal was hidden in polarization patterns in the cosmic microwave background and confirms physicists' audacious theory of how the Big Bang happened.

http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1404/

Hubble Displays Galactic Jellyfish

These stunning new images of spiral galaxy ESO 137-001 highlight its violent encounter with the intracluster plasma of Abell 3627, which is stripping away its gas and forming stars in the streamers.

NGC 6872, the largest spiral galaxy

Galaxies Grow By Snacking

Evidence from observations and computer simulations supports a picture of galaxy growth that isn't dominated by the rough-and-tumble crashes of big galaxies. Instead, most of the universe's stellar metropolises appear to feed themselves with nibbles instead of feasts.