stellar evolution

Radio Telescopes Resolve Pleiades Distance Debate

by Shannon Hall August 29, 2014

Fall will soon be at our doorstep. But before the leaves change colors and the smell of pumpkin fills our coffee shops, the Pleiades star cluster will mark the new season with its earlier presence in the night sky. The delicate grouping of blue stars has been a prominent sight since antiquity. But in recent […]

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Deep Astrophoto of LDN 673: The Place Where Stars are Born

by Nancy Atkinson August 4, 2014

What a stunning view of this dark region of space! This image, by astrophotographer Callum Hayton shows LDN 673, a molecular cloud complex that lies in the constellation Aquila. This region is massive — around 67 trillion kilometers (42 trillion miles across), and it is between 300-600 light years from Earth. Observers in the northern […]

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A Protostar’s Age Gleaned Only From Sound Waves

by Shannon Hall July 5, 2014

Precisely dating a star can have important consequences for understanding stellar evolution and any circling exoplanets. But it’s one of the toughest plights in astronomy with only a few existing techniques. One method is to find a star with radioactive elements like uranium and thorium, whose half-lives are known and can be used to date […]

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Astronomers Find Evidence of a Strange Type of Star

by Jason Major June 4, 2014

One has never been spotted for sure in the wild jungle of strange stellar objects out there, but astronomers now think they have finally found a theoretical cosmic curiosity: a Thorne-Zytkow Object, or TZO, hiding in the neighboring Small Magellanic Cloud. With the outward appearance of garden-variety red supergiants, TZOs are actually two stars in […]

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Stars Boil Before They Blow Up, Says NuSTAR

by Jason Major February 19, 2014

Supernovas are some of the most energetic and powerful events in the observable Universe. Briefly outshining entire galaxies, they are the final, dying  outbursts of stars several times more massive than our Sun. And while we know supernovas are responsible for creating the heavy elements necessary for everything from planets to people to power tools, […]

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