Blitz, L. “The Dark Side of the Milky Way.” Scientific American (October 2011): 36–43. How we find dark matter and what it tells us about our Galaxy, its warped disk, and its satellite galaxies.
Dvorak, J. “Journey to the Heart of the Milky Way.” Astronomy (February 2008): 28. Measuring nearby stars to determine the properties of the black hole at the center.
Gallagher, J., Wyse, R., & Benjamin, R. “The New Milky Way.” Astronomy (September 2011): 26. Highlights all aspects of the Milky Way based on recent observations.
Goldstein, A. “Finding our Place in the Milky Way.” Astronomy (August 2015): 50. On the history of observations that pinpointed the Sun’s location in the Galaxy.
Haggard, D., & Bower, G. “In the Heart of the Milky Way.” Sky & Telescope (February 2016): 16. On observations of the Galaxy’s nucleus and the supermassive black hole and magnetar there.
Ibata, R., & Gibson, B. “The Ghosts of Galaxies Past.” Scientific American (April 2007): 40. About star streams in the Galaxy that are evidence of past mergers and collisions.
Irion, R. “A Crushing End for Our Galaxy.” Science (January 7, 2000): 62. On the role of mergers in the evolution of the Milky Way.
Irion, R. “Homing in on Black Holes.” Smithsonian (April 2008). On how astronomers probe the large black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Kruesi, L. “How We Mapped the Milky Way.” Astronomy (October 2009): 28.
Kruesi, L. “What Lurks in the Monstrous Heart of the Milky Way?” Astronomy (October 2015): 30. On the center of the Galaxy and the black hole there.
Laughlin, G., & Adams, F. “Celebrating the Galactic Millennium.” Astronomy (November 2001): 39. The long-term future of the Milky Way in the next 90 billion years.
Loeb, A., & Cox, T.J. “Our Galaxy’s Date with Destruction.” Astronomy (June 2008): 28. Describes the upcoming merger of Milky Way and Andromeda.
Szpir, M. “Passing the Bar Exam.” Astronomy (March 1999): 46. On evidence that our Galaxy is a barred spiral.
Tanner, A. “A Trip to the Galactic Center.” Sky & Telescope (April 2003): 44. Nice introduction, with observations pointing to the presence of a black hole.
Trimble, V., & Parker, S. “Meet the Milky Way.” Sky & Telescope (January 1995): 26. Overview of our Galaxy.
Wakker, B., & Richter, P. “Our Growing, Breathing Galaxy.” Scientific American (January 2004): 38. Evidence that our Galaxy is still being built up by the addition of gas and smaller neighbors.
Waller, W. “Redesigning the Milky Way.” Sky & Telescope (September 2004): 50. On recent multi-wavelength surveys of the Galaxy.
Whitt, K. “The Milky Way from the Inside.” Astronomy (November 2001): 58. Fantastic panorama image of the Galaxy, with finder charts and explanations.
International Dark Sky Sanctuaries: http://darksky.org/idsp/sanctuaries/. A listing of dark-sky sanctuaries, parks, and reserves.
Multiwavelength Milky Way: http://mwmw.gsfc.nasa.gov/mmw_sci.html. This NASA site shows the plane of our Galaxy in a variety of wavelength bands, and includes background material and other resources.
Shapley-Curtis Debate in 1920: http://apod.nasa.gov/diamond_jubilee/debate_1920.html. In 1920, astronomers Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis engaged in a historic debate about how large our Galaxy was and whether other galaxies existed. Here you can find historical and educational material about the debate.
UCLA Galactic Center Group: http://www.galacticcenter.astro.ucla.edu/. Learn more about the work of Andrea Ghez and colleagues on the central region of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Crash of the Titans: http://www.spacetelescope.org/videos/hubblecast55a/. This Hubblecast from 2012 features Jay Anderson and Roeland van der Marel explaining how Andromeda will collide with the Milky Way in the distant future (5:07).
Diner at the Center of the Galaxy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UP7ig8Gxftw. A short discussion from NASA ScienceCast of NuSTAR observations of flares from our Galaxy’s central black hole (3:23).
Hunt for a Supermassive Black Hole: https://www.ted.com/talks/andrea_ghez_the_hunt_for_a_supermassive_black_hole. 2009 TED talk by Andrea Ghez on searching for supermassive black holes, particularly the one at the center of the Milky Way (16:19).
Journey to the Galactic Center: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36xZsgZ0oSo. A brief silent trip into the cluster of stars near the galactic center showing their motions around the center (3:00).