Jan 7, 2020

Hubble telescope photographs galaxy 2.5 times wider than the Milky Way

Photo: NASA/ESA/B. Holwerda (University of Louisville)

A new photo from the Hubble Space Telescope shows off a spiral galaxy located 232 million light-years away and thought to be the largest in our known, local universe.

Why it matters: The galaxy, named UGC 2885, is about 2.5 times wider than our galaxy and contains 10 times more stars.

  • The brightest stars in the foreground are actually in our own galaxy and were in the view of the telescope as it observed UGC 2885.

Background: This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope's life in space. Its successor — the James Webb Space Telescope — is expected to launch in 2021.

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Saying goodbye to the Spitzer Space Telescope

The Tarantula Nebula as seen by the Spitzer Space Telescope. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

On Thursday, NASA will shut down the Spitzer Space Telescope, ending a mission that transformed how we understand the invisible machinations of the universe.

Why it matters: While the telescope is still able to function today, NASA made the decision to shut it down, saying $14 million per year is too high a cost for its diminishing science return as the observatory will likely be inoperable soon.

Go deeperArrowJan 28, 2020

Trump's Space Force gets a new, recognizable logo

Space Force vs Starfleet. Photo: Trump Twitter feed (left)/CBS/Viacom (Right)

The Trump administration's new Space Force logo looks a lot like another space visual: the Star Trek insignia.

Why it matters: The United States Space Force was signed into law at the end of 2019 after President Trump directed the Pentagon to form a new branch of the military dedicated to keeping U.S. assets in space safe.

Go deeperArrowJan 24, 2020

The make-or-break moment for U.S. spaceflight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

This year Boeing and SpaceX will push to launch astronauts to orbit for NASA after years of delays, in an attempt to end U.S. reliance on Russian rockets for rides to the International Space Station.

Why it matters: Up and coming space powers like India and China are making plays at sending astronauts into space while launching increasingly ambitious missions to the Moon as NASA has been riding on its Cold War-era achievements in human spaceflight.

Go deeperArrowJan 7, 2020 - Science