"Once upon a time in a galaxy 12 million light years away, a tiny white dwarf star went supernova — and for a few fleeting weeks was elevated in brightness to outshine the rest of the stars in its galaxy combined.
The far, far away galaxy is called Messier 82 and lies in the direction of the constellation Ursa Major (Big Bear, Big Dipper). Also known as the “Cigar Galaxy,” owing to its long narrow shape and maybe its ashy appearance in small telescopes, M-82 has been known to us since the late 18th century when Charles Messier observed and cataloged it during his search for comets.”
“OurMilky Way galaxyhas four arms instead of two, according to just published results of a 12-year study by scientists in the U.K.
The findings, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, affirm what astronomers surmised in the 1950s but began to doubt in 2008 after seeing images from the Spitzer Space Telescope that could only confirm two spiral arms.”
“The astronomers atNASAand Pennsylvania State University have created the most detailed ultraviolet survey of our two closest major galaxies: the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.
Astronomers used imagery from NASA’s Swift Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope to create stunning mosaics. The result: a 160-megapixel mosaic image of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and a 57-megapixel mosaic image of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC).”
"This new image of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2012 campaign reveals a previously unseen population of seven faraway galaxies, which are observed as they appeared in a period 350 million to 600 million years after the Big Bang.”