Astronomy

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satellite galaxies

VIRTUAL GALAXY  New simulations show that supernovas whittle away at the sea of dark matter surrounding our galaxy (left), leaving only a few blobs that are massive enough (circled) to create satellite galaxies. The image on the right, from the same simulation, shows where stars end up forming. 

two black holes merging

DUOS’ DANCE   Mergers of two pairs of black holes (illustrated) showcase ability of gravitational waves as a new tool for understanding the universe. LIGO detected gravitational waves from both mergers shown, but at different times and in different parts of the sky. 

Altair

STAR SPIN  Rapidly twirling stars such as Altair (shown; interferometer image, left) have an equatorial bulge that makes them emit more light from their poles than their equator, which could create strange seasons on any orbiting planets.

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