NASA stitched together thousands of Hubble images to create this mesmerizing galaxy zoom

Do you ever think about how small we are in comparison to the rest of the galaxy? How about the universe? This week, NASA released a time lapse video simulating a visual trip to the center of the galaxy. Using wide-field images of the Milky Way taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA simulates a journey of 27,000 light years — from the tiny speck that is planet Earth, all the way into the very center of the galaxy we call home.

One of the must shocking facts about this journey is that there are more than half a million stars at the core of the Milky Way galaxy. This nuclear star cluster is the most dense and massive group of stars in the entire galaxy. It’s hard to grasp just how dense the cluster is, but think of it in more local terms: to match the stellar density of the Milky Way’s nuclear star cluster, you’d have to stuff one million suns into the volume of space in the 4.3 light years between planet Earth and our closest neighbor star, Alpha Centauri.

A million suns! Once the time-lapse visualization does reach the center of the Milky Way, we get a brief glimpse of the many stars surrounding the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A*. Of course, we can’t capture photos of Sagittarius A* since it is impossible to observe a black hole directly, but astronomers and scientists are often able to identify black holes in space by studying the orbital patterns and trajectories of stars and planets in a particular region of space.

NASA’s video gives us just a glimpse of what would be a very, very long (and arduous, and to this day still physically impossible) trip to the center of our galaxy. Of course, this virtual version only takes 30 seconds and it isn’t quite the same as real life space travel, but for many of us, this beautiful taste of deep space exploration may be as close as we’re ever going to get.

Emerging Tech

Brightest quasar ever seen discovered by Hubble, may be star-producing machine

The brightest quasar even seen has been observed with the Hubble Space Telescope using a technique called strong gravitational lensing. The quasar is enormously energetic and may be producing thousands of stars per year.
Emerging Tech

Scientists debate mysterious flash of light in space, known as ‘The Cow’

On June 16, 2018 there was an unusual flash in the sky which puzzled astronomers around the world. NASA researchers have been collecting data on the event and have shared two competing theories for what could have caused it.
Emerging Tech

Black holes devour nearby stars and spew brilliant X-rays during outburst phase

Physicists have investigated an explosion of X-ray light originating from a black hole in an outburst phase. The data suggests during an outburst, black holes consume huge amounts of stellar material and shrink in size by a factor of ten.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.
Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Emerging Tech

Short film celebrates New Yorker’s amazing robot costumes

New York City resident Peter Kokis creates stunning robot costumes out of household trash. His designs are huge, heavy, and extremely intricate, and never fail to turn heads when he's out and about.
Emerging Tech

In a first for humankind, China is growing plants on the moon

Having recently landed a probe on the far side of the moon, China announced that it managed to grow the first plant on the moon, too. Here's why that matters for deep space travel.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and Kittyhawk.io could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.