Articles on Milky Way

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Couples get romantic on Qixi, a lovers’ festival similar to Valentine’s Day. Visual China Group via Getty Images

How China does Valentine’s Day

China's Qixi Festival is a celebration of love based on the legend of a mortal who married a goddess, causing his furious mother-in-law to create a Milky Way to divide these two twinkling stars.
An artist’s conception of two black holes entwined in a gravitational tango. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Christopher Go

Supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy may have a friend

There is a massive black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Measurements of star orbits near this black hole suggest that there may be a second companion black hole nearby.
The other galaxies are there, but they are hiding a very long way away. www.shutterstock.com

Curious Kids: Where are all the other galaxies hidden?

We are in the Milky Way. If you travelled on an extremely fast spaceship for more than two million years, you would reach our neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy. All other galaxies are even further away.
An artist’s impression of the predicted merger between our Milky Way (right) and the neighboring Andromeda galaxy (left). So which galaxy will dominate? NASA; ESA; Z. Levay and R. van der Marel, STScI; T. Hallas; and A. Mellinger

When galaxies collide, size matters if you want to know the fate of our Milky Way

Bigger galaxies tend to dominate the smaller, when the two collide. But the pending battle between our Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy might be a much fairer fight than we previously thought.
Here, an alien crew member, Saru on Star Trek: Discovery. We often rely on science fiction to guide our expectations of alien life. We can hope lessons about accepting beings very different from yourself can be extracted by the series end. (Courtesy of CBS Studios)

Star Trek discovery of alien life veers away from likely reality

Star Trek: Discovery explores our corner of the block -- just a fraction of the galaxy. Some stars are better candidates for intelligent alien life, and it may not be anything like we imagine.
Lasers being shone from the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. These lasers help remove the twinkles in the night sky and help astronomers see stars clearer on Earth than ever before. F. Kamphues/ESO

Curious Kids: Why do stars twinkle?

How exactly do the stars twinkle in the night sky? As it turns out, the answer is full of hot air... and cold air.

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