The center of the Milky Way seen by the Herschel Space Telescope (ESA/Herschel/PACS, SPIRE/Hi-GAL Project. Acknowledgement: G. Li Causi, IAPS/INAF, Italy)

An article published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” presents maps and a catalog of compact sources obtained thanks to a project called Herschel infrared Galactic Plane Survey (Hi-GAL). The observations made during the ESA Herschel Space Telescope’s mission were used to create maps of the complete Plan Galactic in the far infrared with a level of completeness never seen before.

The galaxy NGC 1600 with a close-up in the inset taken by Hubble (Image NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI))

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the discovery of one of the biggles black holes found so far. Using data collected from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii, an international team of astronomers discovered a supermassive black hole with a mass estimated at around 17 billion times the Sun in the galaxy NGC 1600. It’s an extraordinary mass considering that it’s inside a galaxy very large but fairly isolated.

The Andromeda galaxy with the pulsar's signal in the inset (Image Andromeda: ESA/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/J. Fritz, U. Gent/XMM-Newton/EPIC/W. Pietsch, MPE; data: P. Esposito et al (2016))

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes the discovery of the first pulsar in the Andromeda galaxy. A team led by Paolo Esposito of INAF-Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica, Milan, Italy, found this elusive object using the archives of observations made with ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescope.

Map of voids and galaxy superclusters around the Milky Way (Image Richard Powell)

An article published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” describes the discovery of what was called the BOSS Great Wall, a supercluster more than a billion light years long and between 4.5 and 6.4 billion light years from the Earth. With an estimated mass of 10,000 times that of the Milky Way, it’s the largest supercluster discovered so far.

Picture taken by the Hubble Space Telescope with the galaxy GN-z11 in the inset (Image NASA, ESA, and P. Oesch (Yale University))

An article about to be published in “The Astrophysical Journal” describes the discovery of the most distant galaxy observed so far. Called GN-z11, it’s about 13.4 billion light years from Earth and that means that we’re seeing the light emitted when the universe was about 400 million years. An international team of astronomers pushed the Hubble Space Telescope to the limit of its possibilities to achieve this result.