50 billion alien worlds in our Galaxy

If you go back in time,  a bit more than 15 years ago, there were only 9 known planets, the ones in our solar system! With the first definitive detection of an exoplanet orbiting another star in 1995 started the modern era of exoplanetary discovery.
Recently, the Kepler mission brought the …

Less dark matter to form a new galaxy bursting with stars

The Herschel Space Observatory has revealed how much dark matter it takes to form a new galaxy bursting with stars.
Herschel launched into space in May 2009. The mission’s large, 3.5-meter telescope detects longer-wavelength infrared light from a host of objects, ranging from asteroids and planets in our own solar system …

What is a Galaxy?

While many people would probably be able to describe what a galaxy is, there is actually no clear answer to that question. According to most dictionaries, a galaxy is a large group of stars and other elements that exist in space as independent systems. But, how many stars is exactly …

The oldest galaxy

The Hubble Space Telescope has glimpsed what might be the most distant galaxy ever detected. It is 13.2 billion light-years away from Earth (the Universe was then about 480 million years old). This discovery reveals that galaxies were forming and growing quite fast in the very early Universe, but also …

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