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Major supercluster of galaxies found hidden by the Milky Way

17 November 2016 Astronomy Now

An international team of astronomers has discovered a previously unknown major concentration of galaxies in the constellation Vela, which they have dubbed the Vela supercluster. The gravitational attraction from this large mass concentration in our cosmic neighbourhood may have an important effect on the motion of our Local Group of galaxies.

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Modest-mass galaxy hosts oversized black hole: an evolutionary missing link?

24 September 2015 Astronomy Now

The central supermassive black hole of a recently discovered galaxy called SAGE0536AGN is far larger than should be possible, according to current theories of galactic evolution. The galaxy was found by accident with NASA’s Spitzer space telescope and is thought to be at least 9 billion years old. Time will tell whether SAGE0536AGN really is an oddball, or simply the first in a new class of galaxies.

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Sun’s close encounter with Scholz’s Star

18 February 2015 Astronomy Now

Astronomers using large telescopes in South Africa and Chile identify the closest known flyby of a star to our Solar System: a low-mass star system nicknamed “Scholz’s Star” that passed through the Oort Cloud 70,000 years ago.