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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.

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