Our current understanding of how stars evolve is a “cornerstone of astronomical science” – but a new finding could send scientists back to the drawing board.
This is what it looks like when two gas-rich spiral galaxies collide.
Astronomers have taken a forensic approach to study the stellar halo of a galaxy to reveal hidden secrets on how such galaxies were formed.
A nearby galaxy is moving so fast it has left a 300,000-light-year plume of star-making gas in its wake.
In swirling clouds of hydrogen, helium and oxygen, nebulae form our galaxy’s “heart and soul”. All of these elements combine and attract each other to forge together and create stars. As well as being baby star factories, nebulae come in fantastic shapes and colours. ‘Pareidolia’ is a human tendency to see faces and other shapes where there are none – like what you do when cloud watching. These cosmic clouds also take on a number of recognisable shapes, including two of the best recognised, nicknamed the Heart and Soul nebulae. Anne Johnston spoke to astrophotographer Terry Hancock about his passion for these cosmic beauties.