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Stars


— Space

Brown dwarf aurora may help characterize distant exoplanets

By - July 31, 2015 2 Pictures

The discovery of a powerful aurora surrounding a distant failed star may in future aid astronomers in their hunt for habitable planets. The aurora is the first to be discovered around a brown dwarf, known as LSRJ 1835+3259 (LSRJ). It's a type of star that shares many characteristics with known exoplanets, and the technique used to observe the phenomenon could one day be a factor in determining whether a planet could sustain life.

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— Space

New map reveals a third of the stars in the Milky Way have dramatically changed orbit

By - July 30, 2015 1 Picture

It's easy to think of stars as being fixed in place, because that's how we see them in the sky. But like Earth and the other planets, they have orbits. And it turns out those orbits can change dramatically. In creating a new map of the Milky Way as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), scientists recently discovered that around 30 percent of the stars in our galaxy have done exactly that – they've moved into a totally new orbit.

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— Space

Astronomers discover Jupiter's twin orbiting a distant Sun-like star

By - July 20, 2015 1 Picture

A team of international astronomers has discovered a gas giant orbiting a distant star with characteristics remarkably similar to those of our own Jovian planet, Jupiter. The significance of the discovery is that the gas giant was found to orbit roughly the same distance from its host star HIP 11915, as Jupiter does from the Sun. This positioning may have profound implications for creating conditions favorable to the development of a habitable Earth-like planet in HIP 11915's inner solar system.

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— Space

ALMA captures sharpest ever view of star formation in the distant universe

By - June 17, 2015 3 Pictures

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has succeeded in imaging star formation regions in a distant galaxy, with a resolution six times greater than that achievable by the Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy, dubbed HATLAS J090311.6+003906 or SDP.81, would ordinarily be far too distant to be observed in such impressive detail. However, thanks to an amazing cosmic coincidence, it has fallen foul of a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing, which essentially grants astronomers the opportunity to gaze into the distant past.

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— Space

Herschel images present a stunning insight into the distribution of matter in our galaxy

By - June 1, 2015 3 Pictures

Three stunning new images from ESA's Herschel Space Observatory are providing new insights into how matter is distributed in our galaxy. Observations made by the orbital telescope have led astronomers to conclude that our galaxy is threaded with filamentary structures similar to those featured in the newly-released images, the smallest of which stretches across 170 light years of space.

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— Space

Astronomers observe origin of Type la supernova

By - May 21, 2015 1 Picture

An international team of astronomers from Europe, Israel and the United States has succeeded in shedding light on the origin of Type la supernovae – powerful nuclear explosions in deep space that allow us to chart the vast distances between galaxies. It is known that a white dwarf star is responsible for creating the distinctive, intensely bright explosion, but the cause of the supernovae are still a topic of hot debate.

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— Space

Astronomers create first 3D image of iconic Pillars of Creation

By - April 30, 2015 2 Pictures
Astronomers from the European Southern Observatory have used data from the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument to compile the first 3D image of the Pillars of Creation, uncovering some key characteristics of the structures in the process. A shot of the magnificent structures composed of interstellar gas was first captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995, and remains one of the most iconic images of space exploration to date. Read More
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