Good Night, Dear Kepler — Planet-Hunting Telescope Sends Last Images to Earth; Is That Tetris?

The Kepler spacecraft has sent its final images to Earth, ending a decade of hunting for planets beyond our solar system. The spacecraft was utilized in the discovery of more than 2,600 of these exoplanets. Just 35 years ago, astronomers did not know of any planets beyond our own stellar family, while today, we know of thousands of such alien worlds, Most of these discoveries were made using the Kepler spacecraft, launched in 2009. The observatory ran out of fuel in October 2018, and was placed in a safe orbit prior to shutdown.

Read More Good Night, Dear Kepler — Planet-Hunting Telescope Sends Last Images to Earth; Is That Tetris?
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It’s Not Just You – The Galaxy IS Warped, After All!

The Milky Way Galaxy is typically thought to be a flat, spiral disk. But, new research from astronomers at Macquarie University suggest our home galaxy is warped. By studying the positions of certain well-understood stars, researchers were able to create the first 3D model of our home galaxy. They found that the Milky Way has a slight “s” shape when viewed from the side. Torque caused by the movement of stars closer to the center the galaxy appear to be causing the effect.

Read More It’s Not Just You – The Galaxy IS Warped, After All!

The Andromeda Galaxy Was the Culprit – The Case of the Missing Galaxy

The Andromeda Galaxy, the closest large family of stars to the Milky Way, may be a galactic assassin. Astronomers from the University of Michigan have determined that this family of stars collided with another massive galaxy two billion years ago, nearly destroying it. Today, only the small dwarf galaxy, M32, remains, still located near Andromeda. In roughly four billion years, The Milky Way and Andromeda will collide, greatly altering both galaxies.

Read More The Andromeda Galaxy Was the Culprit – The Case of the Missing Galaxy