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Writer Fuel: Why Are Spiral Galaxies Rare?

galaxy - deposit photos

Galaxies like our Milky Way are mysteriously hard to come by in our cosmic backyard. New supercomputer simulations have helped astronomers finally answer why. The Milky Way sits within a galaxy cluster on the Supergalactic Plane — a billion light-year-wide sheet, or “supercluster,” upon which large galaxy clusters are pinned. But other spiral galaxies are … Read more

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Writer Fuel: How to Make a Super Massive Black Hole

Triple Quasar Creates Super Massive Black Hole - NASA/ESA

Glimpsed only occasionally at the hearts of massive clusters of galaxies, ultramassive black holes are some of the largest and most elusive objects in the universe. These black hole behemoths have masses exceeding that of 10 billion suns, making them far more monstrous than even the supermassive black holes found at the centers of galaxies … Read more

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Writer Fuel: How Did the Milky Way Form?

milky way - pixabay

The exact origins of the Milky Way are shrouded in mystery. But astronomers believe that our home galaxy started out more than 13 billion years ago, and that it was much smaller than its present-day size. How did it grow so much to reach its current size? For that, we can likely thank eons of … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Scientists Find Enormous Cluster of Galaxies Hidden in the “Zone of Avoidance”

galaxies / the universe - deposit photos

Astronomers have detected an enormous extragalactic structure hiding in an uncharted region of space far beyond the Milky Way’s center. This phantom region, known as the zone of avoidance, is a blank spot on our map of the universe, comprising somewhere between 10% and 20% of the night sky. The reason we can’t see it … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: Are Larger Galaxies Dark Matter Thieves?

galaxies - pixabay

Large galaxies may steal dark matter from smaller galaxies they nearly collide with, new research suggests. Scientists from the University of California, Irvine and Pomona College used computer models to simulate the evolution of a corner of the universe about 60 million light-years across. The new computer models, which weren’t designed to do so, created … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: When Galaxies Collide…

Hubble Telescope - colliding galaxies

Corkscrewing through the cosmos, three distant galaxies collide in a stunning new image captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. This cosmic crash is known as a triple galaxy merger, when three galaxies slowly draw each other nearer and tear each other apart with their competing gravitational forces. Mergers like these are common throughout the universe, … Read more