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Latest Alex Wolszczan Stories

Could Our Sun Eventually Devour Earth?
2012-10-26 14:50:20

NASA Science [ Watch The Video ] An international team of astronomers has caught a star in the act of devouring one of its planets. BD+48 740, a red giant they observed using the 9.2-meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope at the McDonald Observatory in Texas, appears to have the fumes of a scorched planet in its atmosphere. This is consistent with a rocky world, recently destroyed. Could the same thing happen to Earth? Yes indeed, says Alex Wolszczan, a member of the research team from Penn...

Astronomers Find New Planets And A Mystery Object Outside Our Solar System
2011-10-27 13:04:07

Three planets -- each orbiting its own giant, dying star -- have been discovered by an international research team led by a Penn State University astronomer. Using the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, astronomers observed the planets' parent stars -- called HD 240237, BD +48 738, and HD 96127 -- tens of light years away from our solar system. One of the massive, dying stars has an additional mystery object orbiting it, according to team leader Alex Wolszczan, an Evan Pugh Professor of Astronomy and...

9990af112c4520d08e8d626ce0036a051
2009-12-22 09:45:00

Two brown dwarf-sized objects orbiting a giant old star show that planets may assemble around stars more quickly and efficiently than anyone thought possible, according to an international team of astronomers. "We have found two brown dwarf-sized masses around an ordinary star, which is very rare," said Alex Wolszczan, Evan Pugh professor of astronomy and astrophysics, Penn State and lead scientist on the project. The star, BD +20 2457, is a K2 giant -- an old bloated star nearing the end of...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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