NASA's stunning image of our galactic center

Last July, NASA released this wonderful composite image of the galactic center of the Milky Way.

The central region of our galaxy, the Milky Way, contains an exotic collection of objects, including a supermassive black hole weighing about 4 million times the mass of the Sun (called Sagittarius A*), clouds of gas at temperatures of millions of degrees, neutron stars and white dwarf stars tearing material from companion stars and beautiful tendrils of radio emission.

The region around Sagittarius A* is shown in this new composite image with Chandra data (green and blue) combined with radio data (red) from the MeerKAT telescope in South Africa, which will eventually become part of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA).

Read more about the Chandra X-ray Observatory and it's 20th anniversary, also celebrated last July.

Image credit: X-Ray:NASA/CXC/UMass/D. Wang et al.; Radio:NRF/SARAO/MeerKAT Read the rest

You are looking at 84 million stars in the heart of the Milky Way -- how small do you feel now?

My God, it's full of stars!

To create this unprecedented view of the Milky Way, ESO combined thousands of individual images from VISTA, taken through three different infrared filters, into a single monumental mosaic. These data form part of the VVV public survey and have been used to study a much larger number of individual stars in the central parts of the Milky Way than ever before. Because VISTA has a camera sensitive to infrared light it can see through much of the dust blocking the view for optical telescopes. The results are truly mesmerizing!

More info here. See a zoomable version of the image here.

Image: ESO/VVV Survey/D. Minniti (CC BY 4.0) Read the rest

Awe-inspiring timelapse of galaxies sparkling in the skies

Adrien Manduit (previously) returns with a breathtaking timelapse of galaxies as viewed from Teneriffe. Read the rest

Stunning image of airglow bands around the Milky Way

Xiaohan Wang was driving near Keluke Lake in Qinghai Province in China, but stopped to snap this lovely image of airglow bands framing the Milky Way. Read the rest

How to get a nice shot of the Milky Way from your airplane seat

A long plane ride at night will give you plenty of time to practice and perfect Jan Jasinski's technique for shooting starscapes from the comfort of your window seat: Read the rest

Photography: These starscapes may inspire a move to Finland

Finnish photographer Oscar Keserci braved brutal temperatures in and around Kirkkonummi, Finland for his breathtaking Blue Night series of photos. Read the rest

Hubble releases shimmering image of a youthful globular cluster

Recent revised estimates upping the number of galaxies in the universe seem even more mind-boggling when contemplating this image released from Hubble this week. It shows NGC 362, one of about 150 globular clusters on the outskirts of just one galaxy, our own Milky Way. Read the rest

Recreating Our Galaxy in a Supercomputer

Astronomers at Caltech have created the most detailed computer simulation yet of how our Milky Way galaxy was formed, from inception billions of years ago as a loose collection of matter to its modern state as a massive, spiral disk of stars. Read the rest