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The Ancient Collision That Changed Our Galaxy

    The Ancient Collision That Changed Our Galaxy By Judith E Braffman-Miller Large galaxies start off small and then grow larger and larger by gathering gas clouds that ultimately experience a sea-change into fiery young stars. Our own large star-splattered spiral Galaxy, the Milky Way, has grown to its majestic size by snacking on smaller nearby galaxies and stealing…

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An Interstellar Object’s Masquerade

    An Interstellar Object’s Masquerade By Judith E Braffman-Miller Some of the smaller inhabitants of our own Solar System are naughty little objects that teasingly refuse to be designated as one thing or another. But, what is true for our Sun and its family is apparently also true for the children of other stars, and a recent invader from…

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Our Galaxy’s Supermassive Black Hole Has Hidden Siblings

    Our Galaxy’s Supermassive Black Hole Has Hidden Siblings By Judith E Braffman-Miller Strange, sinister, and hungry, supermassive black holes lurk in the secretive hearts of perhaps every large galaxy in the visible Universe. Our own Milky Way Galaxy’s resident dark heart is named Sagittarius A (pronounced Sagittarius-a-star), or Sgr A, for short. It is a peaceful, elderly gravitational…

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Particles Born In A Black Hole’s Hostile Winds

    Particles Born In A Black Hole’s Hostile Winds By Judith E Braffman-Miller The centers of our Universe’s myriad galaxies rage with brilliant, roiling fires that hide, within their blinding glare, the darkest of hearts. These hearts of darkness are supermassive black holes, and they wait in sinister secret for their dinner–screaming, shredded stars; doomed, wandering clouds of gas;…

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Sagittarius – A-Star’s Last Banquet

Sagittarius – A-Star’s Last Banquet By Judith E Braffman-Miller Secretive, sinister, and gluttonous, supermassive black holes hide in the hearts of perhaps every large galaxy in the Universe–including our own barred-spiral Milky Way. Such supermassive hearts-of-darkness feed on ill-fated wandering stars, as well as on doomed clouds of floating gas, that have traveled too close to their inescapable gravitational embrace–never…

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Galactic Archaeologists Build A Stellar Family Tree

Galactic Archaeologists Build A Stellar Family Tree By Judith E Braffman-Miller Traditional archaeologists uncover the many mysteries of our ancient human ancestors by digging for the lingering remains of long-lost civilizations that can be excavated and observed today. Astronomers are now borrowing the same principles applied in archaeology and biology in order to piece together the mysterious family tree of…

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The Strange Case Of The Pushy Void

The Strange Case Of The Pushy Void By Judith E Braffman-Miller Billions upon billions of galaxies, blazing with the furious, brilliant fires of a host of dazzling stars, trace out the heavy and gigantic filaments of the Great Cosmic Web–a structure that would otherwise be invisible to our eyes, were it not for these sparkling and revealing flecks of starlight….

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Our Galaxy’s Stolen Stars

Our Galaxy’s Stolen Stars By Judith E Braffman-Miller Our star-blazing, spiral Milky Way Galaxy spins majestically like a giant pin-wheel swirling in space. A very ancient structure, our Galaxy is thought to have started out as either one or several small over-dense regions in the mass distribution of the baby Universe, soon after its inflationary Big Bang birth almost 14…

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