In this Nov. 2009 photo, the Milky Way spreads across the night sky over Mormon Row, an historic settlement, in Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyo. The light in the distance is the city of Driggs, Idaho, on the west side of the Teton Mountain Range. Bradly J. Boner/Jackson Hole News & Guide/AP
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has given us a keyhole view towards the heart of our Milky Way Galaxy, where a dazzling array of stars reside. Most of the view of our galaxy is obscured by dust. Hubble peered into the Sagittarius Star Cloud, a narrow, dust-free region, providing this spectacular glimpse of a treasure chest full of stars. Hubble Heritage Team/AURA/STScI/NASA/NASA/GSFC
An artist's depiction of the Milky Way galaxy is seen in the Eames film 'Powers of Ten,' in 1968. PRNewsFoto/The Eames Office/Newscom
A Smithsonian team of astronomers has found two 'exiled' stars that were flung from the galactic center millions of years ago. Those stars are speeding out of the Milky Way at more than one million miles per hour, as shown in this artist's conception. NASA
In a June 30, 2011 photo, an aircraft passes the Milky Way over a treeline in one of the darkest places east of the Mississippi River, Cherry Springs State Park in Potter County, Pa. Cherry Springs is widely regarded as one of the darkest places at night in the eastern United States. That makes it a haven for stargazers. David Swanson/Philadelphia Inquirer/AP
Thousands of sparkling young stars are nestled within the giant nebula NGC 3603. This stellar "jewel box" is one of the most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. NGC 3603 is a prominent star-forming region in the Carina spiral arm of the Milky Way, about 20,000 light-years away. NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage/STScI/AURA
This artist's rendering shows a view of our own Milky Way Galaxy and its central bar as it might appear if viewed from above. An arrow indicates the location of our Sun. Astronomers have concluded for many years that our galaxy harbors a stellar bar, though its presence has been inferred indirectly. Our vantage point within the disk of the galaxy makes it difficult to accurately determine the size and shape of this bar and surrounding spiral arms. NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC)
This dazzling infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows hundreds of thousands of stars crowded into the swirling core of our spiral Milky Way galaxy. In visible-light pictures, this region cannot be seen at all because dust lying between Earth and the galactic center blocks our view. In this false-color picture, old and cool stars are blue, while dust features lit up by blazing hot, massive stars are shown in a reddish hue. NASA/JPL-Caltech
The sky is a jewelry box full of sparkling stars in these infrared images. The crown jewels are 14 massive stars on the verge of exploding as supernovae. These hefty stars reside in one of the most massive star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. The bluish cluster is inside the white box in the large image, which shows the star-studded region around it. NASA/JPL-Caltech/D. Figer (STScI/RIT)
Some of the coldest and darkest dust in space shines brightly in this infrared image from the Herschel Observatory, a European Space Agency mission with important participation from NASA. The image is a composite of light captured simultaneously by two of Herschel's three instruments -- the photodetector array camera and spectrometer with its spectral and photometric imaging receiver. ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech
This is an image of a small portion of the Cygnus Loop supernova remnant, which marks the edge of a bubble-like, expanding blast wave from a colossal stellar explosion, occurring about 15,000 years ago. The supernova remnant is within the plane of our Milky Way galaxy and is 2,600 light-years away. NASA
This artist's impression depicts our home galaxy - the Milky Way. Our solar system is one of billions in the galaxy. And the galaxy is one of billions in the universe. NASA
On October 9, 1604, sky-watchers, including astronomer Johannes Kepler, spotted a "new star" in the western sky, rivaling the brilliance of nearby planets. "Kepler's supernova" was the last exploding supernova seen in our Milky Way galaxy. NASA/ESA/JHU/R.Sankr it & W.Blair
Astronomers have long known that the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, known as Sagittarius A (or Sgr A for short), is a particularly poor eater. The fuel for this black hole comes from powerful winds blown off dozens of massive young stars that are concentrated nearby. These stars are located a relatively large distance away from Sgr A, where the gravity of the black hole is weak, and so their high-velocity winds are difficult for the black hole to capture and swallow. NASA/CXC/MIT/F. Baganoff, R. Shcherbakov et al.
The Chandra X-Ray Observatory has made a sturning, high-energy panorama of the central regions of our Milky Way galaxy. The findings are an important step toward understanding the most active area of the Milky Way as well as other galaxies throughout the universe. This 400 by 900-light-year mosaic of several CXO images reveals hundreds of white dwarf stars, neutron stars, and black holes bathed in an incandescent fog of multimillion-degree gas. NASA/UMass/D. Wang et al
Seventy years ago, AP's Joe Rosenthal took the now iconic photo of US Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. The Christian Science Monitor reported why the tiny island played such a huge role in the war's Pacific theater.
ByJoseph C. Harsch, Staff writer
This article originally ran in The Christian Science Monitor on Feb. 23, 1945, on the same day when Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal took the now iconic photo of US Marines raising the nation's flag on the island of Iwo Jima in the Pacific Ocean. The Monitor's Joseph C. Harsch explained at the time why Iwo Jima played such an important role in the US campaign in the Pacific during World War II.