Revealing the Invisible Universe

Radio waves are simply another band -- or range of color -- of light. While stars shine most brightly at optical wavelengths, they also shine across the spectrum, including radio waves. Other objects, like star-forming clouds, emit little to any visible light, though they shine brightly in radio light.


In the News!

Our cutting-edge telescopes are used to make new, radio discoveries every day, by penetrating through the dust and clouds of galaxies that obscures visible light.



Interactively learn about our Universe, our telescopes, and the people who make it all possible.

Image of the Week:

The Center of Our Galaxy

The Very Large Array (VLA) was used to make the largest and most sensitive radio image of the Milky Way Galaxy's center. The bright diagonal features trace our Galaxy’s disk-like shape viewed edge-on. The brightest source is called Sagittarius A. (The Galaxy's center lies toward the constellation Sagittarius, or Sgr.) Deep within Sgr A is Sgr A*, a black hole with a mass millions of times that of the Sun. Hot young stars heat the gas around them in bright, round blobs. Massive supernovae explosions leave bubble-shaped remnants. Spiraling or synchrotron radiation makes a collection of strange, thread-like structures. Their emission, orientation, and structure provide important clues about the energetics and large-scale magnetic field structure.
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