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.

Exploring the Minispiral at the Milky Way’s Center

The region around Sgr A*, the 4-million-solar-mass black hole at the heart of our galaxy, is a complex and dynamic place. New Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) observations of the Milky Way’s center now reveal more about this harsh, inhospitable environment.