Latest Metallicity Stories

Star Measurement Made Easier With A Novel Spectral Ruler
2014-06-23 14:32:00

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Being hailed as a critical first step in a massive attempt to map the Milky Way, a team of European astronomers has devised a novel way to categorize stars based on their metallic composition, according to a new paper published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. The study team developed their ‘spectral ruler’ by selecting 34 'benchmark' stars to characterize the distinct kinds of stellar groups in our galaxy, such as hot...

Using Simulations To Chart The Forces Of The Early Universe
2014-02-06 10:13:28

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Most scientific calculations need a reference point to be completed, but what if the calculations are for the beginning of the Universe – where points of reference are somewhat ephemeral? In a new study, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin tried to do just that – conduct numerical simulations aimed at charting the forces of the Universe in its first...

ESA Confirms Inside Out Model Milky Way
2014-01-20 11:40:56

[ Watch the Video: Inside-out Formation Of The Milky Way ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online New research from the European Space Agency's (ESA) Gaia-ESO project has confirmed previous theories on the inside-out development of the Milky Way, with the inner regions of the galaxy’s disc being the first to form. According to their report in the astronomical database Astro-ph, the study researchers reached their conclusions using observations taken with the 8-meter...

Heavy Metal Stars
2013-08-01 14:00:20

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers from the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland say they have discovered two unusual, heavy metal stars. The team wrote in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society that they found the stars HE 2359-2844 and HE 1256-2738 to contain extremely high concentrations of lead in their atmospheres. Naslim Neelamkodan, Simon Jeffery, Natalie Behara and Alan Hibbert said these two stars have surfaces containing...

First Stars Born Short 750 Million Years After The Big Bang
2012-12-06 12:30:42

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The universe has had traces of heavy elements such as carbon and oxygen as far back in time as astronomers have been able to see. Elements such as these were originally churned from the explosion of massive stars. They formed the building blocks for planetary bodies, and eventually for life on Earth. Peering back far in time, a research team from MIT, Caltech, and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) found matter...

Rare Supernovae Are The Most Luminous Ever Observed
2012-11-02 04:39:13

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An international team, including Raymond Carlberg of the University of Toronto's Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, has discovered the most-distant, super-luminous supernovae observed to date. The violent stellar explosions which caused these supernovae would have occurred soon after the Big Bang when the universe was much younger. "The objects are both unusually bright and unusually slow to fade. These are properties that...

New research using data from ESO’s Very Large Telescope has revealed that the hottest and brightest stars, which are known as O stars, are often found in close pairs. Many of such binaries transfer mass from one star to another, a kind of stellar vampirism depicted in this artist’s impression. Credi
2012-07-26 21:17:49

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The brightest stars in the universe apparently do not like to live alone, according to a new study using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). Nearly three-quarters of the brightest, high mass stars are found to have a close companion star, which is far more than previous thought. Most of these pairs of stars are also experiencing disruptive interactions, like mass transfer from one star to the other. Another third of them are expected...

2012-07-13 19:24:49

Astronomers have puzzled over why some puny, extremely faint dwarf galaxies spotted in our Milky Way galaxy's back yard contain so few stars. These ghost-like galaxies are thought to be some of the tiniest, oldest, and most pristine galaxies in the universe. They have been discovered over the past decade by astronomers using automated computer techniques to search through the images of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. But astronomers needed NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to help solve the...

Small Planets Less Pickier For Host Stars Than Previously Thought
2012-06-14 14:22:29

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com [ Watch the Video ] New observations show that small planets may be more widespread in our galaxy than previously thought. Lars A. Buchhave, an astrophysicist at the Niels Bohr Institute and the Centre for Star and Planet Formation at the University of Copenhagen, and colleagues studied the composition of over 150 stars harboring 226 planet candidates smaller than Neptune for the research. Scientists previously thought that the formation of small...

2012-06-13 14:32:55

Building a terrestrial planet requires raw materials that weren't available in the early history of the universe. The Big Bang filled space with hydrogen and helium. Chemical elements like silicon and oxygen - key components of rocks - had to be cooked up over time by stars. But how long did that take? How many of such heavy elements do you need to form planets? Previous studies have shown that Jupiter-sized gas giants tend to form around stars containing more heavy elements than the Sun....

Word of the Day
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'