The Gaia Mission Keeps Unlocking Secrets of the Galaxy

The Gaia Mission Keeps Unlocking Secrets of the Galaxy

There are probably 200 billion stars in the Milky Way, stretched across space in a disk shaped like a ninja’s throwing star. It’s so big that, traveling at the speed of light, it’d still take you 100,000 years to traverse it. But if you could find the ideal point in space to stare at these … Read more

New Images Show The Dust in Nearby Galaxies, And You’ve Never Seen Them Like This

New Images Show The Dust in Nearby Galaxies, And You’ve Never Seen Them Like This

When we see pictures of galaxies outside the Milky Way, what we’re usually looking at is primarily the light of their stars. But stars are far from the only ingredient that makes up a galaxy. Think of stars as the chunks of vegetables in the galactic soup. The broth, then, in which they float, is … Read more

The physics of accretion: How the universe pulled itself together

The physics of accretion: How the universe pulled itself together

Gathering dust Every star grows up on its own schedule. The protostar stage is like a star’s volatile teen years. When its accretion disk stabilizes and material stops falling into the core, it becomes a main sequence star. There may still be a debris disk and the planets around might still be figuring out where … Read more