Black Holes Swarm By The Thousands In Milky Way’s Core

In the heart of our home, the Milky Way galaxy, a black hole with a mass of 4.3 millions suns grows.  Now, it has company. A lot of company. Astronomers have discovered evidence for thousands of “bite-sized” black holes located near the center of our Milky Way galaxy using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. These are…
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Gaia’s Gift — The Lowdown On 1.7 Billion Stars

There are about 9,000 stars in total visible with the naked eye from a dark sky anywhere on planet Earth. In 1989, a star catalog was compiled to help the Hubble Space Telescope target objects of interest in space. It contained about 20 million stars. Last week, the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission released a…
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Hunt Is On For Sun’s Lost Siblings

Did you know that the sun once had brothers and sisters? Like most stars, it was born in a nebula, a cloud of gas and dust that collapsed under its self-gravity to form a cluster of stars. That all happened 4.6 billion years ago. Earth’s sky back then would have been positively glowing from all…
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Milky Way Core May Be Riddled With 10,000+ Black Holes

We’ve only ever known about one black hole in the center of the Milky Way. As wide as the solar system and packing a mass of 4 million suns, it’s called Sagittarius A* (pronounced ‘A star’).  Now, it looks like it’s got a lot of company. A Columbia University-led team of astrophysicists has discovered a dozen…
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Bug-Eyed Over The Milky Way

Boy, it’s a buggy time of year. Standing under an incredible Milky Way, I tried to picture all the insects between us and the stars — wayward moths, fireflies shaking green lanterns, mosquitos out for blood, spiders riding silk parachutes and many others too small to alert the senses. Our planet is so intensely alive. July nights…
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