Latest Stars Stories

2008-03-26 13:40:00

Astrophysicists observe a circumstellar disk with telltale signs of planet formationScientists are one step closer to understanding how new planets form, thanks to research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and carried out by a team of astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History.Ben R. Oppenheimer, assistant curator in the museum's Department of Astrophysics, and his colleagues have used the Lyot Project coronograph attached to a U.S. Air Force telescope on Maui,...

2008-03-20 13:27:59

Astronomers have made the best ever determination of the power of a supernova explosion that was visible from Earth long ago. By observing the remnant of a supernova and a light echo from the initial outburst, they have established the validity of a powerful new method for studying supernovas. Using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, ESA's XMM-Newton Observatory, and the Gemini Observatory, two teams of researchers studied the supernova remnant and its light echo, located in the...

2008-02-20 09:10:00

ESA's Integral has made the first unambiguous discovery of high-energy X-rays coming from a rare massive star at our cosmic doorstep, Eta Carinae. It is one of the most violent places in the galaxy, producing vast winds of electrically-charged particles colliding at speeds of thousands of kilometres per second. The only astronomical object that emits gamma-rays and is observable by the naked eye, Eta Carinae is monstrously large, so large that astronomers call it a hypergiant. It contains...

2008-01-29 13:50:00

A strange and violent fate awaits a white dwarf star that wanders too close to a moderately massive black hole. According to a new study, the black hole's gravitational pull on the white dwarf would cause tidal forces sufficient to disrupt the stellar remnant and reignite nuclear burning in it, giving rise to a supernova explosion with an unusual appearance. Observations of such supernovae could confirm the existence of intermediate-mass black holes, currently the subject of much debate...

2008-01-22 13:58:07

Powerful magnetic waves have been confirmed for the first time as major players in the process that makes the sun's atmosphere strangely hundreds of times hotter than its already superhot surface. The magnetic waves — called Alfven waves — can carry enough energy from the sun's active surface to heat its atmosphere, or corona. "The surface and corona are chock full of these things, and they're very energetic," said Bart de Pontieu, a physicist at the Lockheed Martin...

2008-01-11 12:45:00

NASA scientists say a new solar cycle is beginning, and this could have important repercussions for space-based technology ranging from GPS navigation to weather satellites. On January 4, a reversed-polarity sunspot appeared, signaling the start of Solar Cycle 24. A sunspot is an area of magnetic activity on the surface of the sun that appears as a dark spot on its surface. Solar activity waxes and wanes in 11-year cycles and the previous solar cycle, Solar Cycle 23, peaked in 2000-2002 with...

2008-01-10 16:15:00

The Gemini South Multi-Object Spectograph (GMOS) recently captured a dramatic image of a vast cloud complex named DEM L316 located in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The peanut-shaped nebula appears to be a single object, but the latest research indicates that it is really comprised of two distinct gas and dust clouds formed by different types of supernova explosions.The new image reveals the intricate tendrils of gas and dust located in the remnants of the stellar explosions that created the...

2008-01-04 14:55:00

GREENBELT, Md. - New observations from Suzaku, a joint Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA X-ray observatory, have challenged scientists' conventional understanding of white dwarfs. Observers had believed white dwarfs were inert stellar corpses that slowly cool and fade away, but the new data tell a completely different story. At least one white dwarf, known as AE Aquarii, emits pulses of high-energy (hard) X-rays as it whirls around on its axis. "We're seeing behavior like...

2007-12-17 15:41:39

The solar physics community is abuzz this week. No, there haven't been any great eruptions or solar storms. The source of the excitement is a modest knot of magnetism that popped over the sun's eastern limb on Dec. 11th, pictured below in a pair of images from the orbiting Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). It may not look like much, but "this patch of magnetism could be a sign of the next solar cycle," says solar physicist David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center. For more...

2007-12-06 16:17:56

Imagine you are sitting around a campfire. Move closer to the fire, and you get hotter. Move away, and you get cooler. Pretty basic, right? Well, the closest star, our sun, doesn't seem to be getting this. As you move away from the solar surface, into the sun's outer atmosphere, the corona, it actually gets a lot hotter before it cools off. The solar surface is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, while temperatures in the corona soar to millions of degrees. Although scientists have some ideas...

Latest Stars Reference Libraries

2009-03-03 21:30:30

Georg Friedrich Julius Arthur von Auwers (September 12, 1838 "“ January 24, 1915) was a German astronomer born in Göttingen, Germany. He attended the University of Göttingen and worked at the University of Königsberg. Auwers specialized in astrometry, making very precise measurements of stellar positions and motions. He detected the companion stars of Sirius and Procyon from their effects on the main star's motion, before telescopes were powerful enough to visually observe them....

2009-03-03 21:08:51

Charles Greeley Abbot (May 31, 1872 "“ December 17, 1973) was an American astrophysicist and astronomer born in Wilton, New Hampshire. He graduated from Phillips Academy in 1891 and MIT in 1894, with a degree in chemical physics. In 1895 Abbot was hired by Samuel Pierpont Langley as an assistant at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) despite his lack of experience in astronomy. Hired originally for his laboratory skills, Abbot became acting director of the SAO in 1896. When...

2004-10-19 04:45:44

Triangulum Australe Constellation -- Triangulum Australe, the Southern Triangle, is completely visible in latitudes south of 20 degrees north from April through June. Its three brightest stars have been called the "Three Patriarchs", Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It can easily be recognized by its shape, or asterism. This is one of the 12 southern constellations named by Johann Bayer in the early 1600's. The three bright stars in this constellation are so recognizable that they can be...

2004-10-19 04:45:44

Serpens Constellation -- Serpens (the snake) is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also one of the 48 listed by Ptolemy. Among the modern constellations it is unique in being split into two pieces, Serpens Caput (representing the head of the snake) to the west and Serpens Cauda (representing the tail) to the east. Between these two pieces lies the constellation of Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer. Notable features Since Serpens is regarded as being one constellation...

2004-10-19 04:45:44

Scorpius Constellation -- Scorpius (the scorpion) is one of the constellations of the zodiac. In western astrology it is known as "Scorpio." It lies between Libra to the west and Sagittarius to the east. It is a large constellation located in the southern hemisphere near the center of the Milky Way. Notable features Scorpius contains many bright stars, including Antares (α Sco), Graffias (β1 Sco), Dschubba (δ Sco), Sargas (θ Sco), Shaula (λ Sco), Jabah (ν Sco),...

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  • To talk saucily.
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This word is Scots in origin and probably imitative.