Giant Cosmic Lens Reveals Secrets of Distant Galaxy

Using the National Science Foundation’s Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope and helped by a gigantic cosmic lens conveniently provided by nature, an international team of astronomers has discovered that a young galaxy had a central disk of gas in which hundreds of new stars were being born every year — at a time when the Universe was only a fraction of its current age.

Giant Radio Jet Coming From Wrong Kind of Galaxy

Giant jets of subatomic particles moving at nearly the speed of light have been found coming from thousands of galaxies across the Universe, but always from elliptical galaxies or galaxies in the process of merging — until now. Using the combined power of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Very Large Array (VLA) and the 8-meter Gemini-South Telescope, astronomers have discovered a huge jet coming from a spiral galaxy similar to our own Milky Way.

Speeding star indicates mondo black hole in middle of Milky Way

Researchers say they’ve successfully tracked a star racing around a dark mass at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, offering strong support for the theory that a black hole is at the center of our little corner of space. Astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics tracked the orbit of the closest known star to the black hole candidate Sagittarius A*, a dark mass 3,000,000 times the mass of the sun. Following the star for 10 years, they found that it does indeed orbit Sagittarius A*. Approaching the black hole’s maw, the star reaches its highest velocity, whizzing past it at 5,000 kilometers per second.