Top Galaxy Stories Of The Week

Gamma rays are photons of light with very high energies. These gamma rays came from a galaxy known as PKS 1441+25, which is a rare type of galaxy known as a blazar. At its center it hosts a supermassive black hole surrounded by a disk of hot gas and dust.

As material from the disk swirls toward the black hole, some of it gets channeled into twin jets that blast outward like water from a fire hose only much faster — close to the speed of light. One of those jets is aimed nearly in our direction, giving us a view straight into the galaxy’s core.

Gamma rays detected from galaxy halfway across the visible universe

In April 2015, after traveling for about half the age of the universe, a flood of powerful gamma rays from a distant galaxy slammed into Earth’s atmosphere. That torrent generated a cascade of light — a shower that fell onto the waiting mirrors of the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS) in Arizona. The resulting data have given astronomers a unique look into that faraway galaxy and the black hole engine at its heart. Read More…

XXL hunt for galaxy clusters: Observations from ESO telescopes provide crucial third dimension in probe of Universe’s dark side

ESO telescopes have provided an international team of astronomers with the gift of the third dimension in a plus-sized hunt for the largest gravitationally bound structures in the Universe — galaxy clusters. Observations by the VLT and the NTT complement those from other observatories across the globe and in space as part of the XXL survey — one of the largest ever such quests for clusters. Read More…

Faintest galaxy from the early universe, 400 million years after the big bang

Astronomers harnessing the combined power of NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have found the faintest object ever seen in the early universe. It existed about 400 million years after the big bang, 13.8 billion years ago. Read More…

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