Can A ‘Planet-Like Object’ Start Its Life Blazing As Hot As A Star?

by Elizabeth Howell August 5, 2014

Nature once again shows us how hard it is to fit astronomical objects into categories. An examination of a so-far unique brown dwarf — an object that is a little too small to start nuclear fusion and be a star — shows that it could have been as hot as a star in the ancient […]

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Too WISE to be Fooled by Dust: Over 300 New Star Clusters Discovered

by Dan Majaess June 11, 2014

Brazilian astronomers have discovered some 300+ star clusters that were largely overlooked owing to sizable obscuration by dust.  The astronomers, from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, used data obtained by NASA’s WISE (Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer) space telescope to detect the clusters. Dan Majaess on Google+

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UPDATE: NASA Senior Review Declines WISE Spacecraft Data Usage Idea

by Elizabeth Howell May 16, 2014

CORRECTION: This story corrects a previously stated misinterpretation of the NASA Senior Report that the WISE spacecraft itself was denied an extension.  NASA has denied funding to an idea to use NEOWISE image exposures for additional processing for science purposes, according to Amy Mainzer, the deputy project scientist for the  Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) at NASA’s Jet […]

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It’s Freezing on the Surface of this Nearby Star-like Object

by Shannon Hall April 29, 2014

Our stellar neighborhood just got a little busier … and a little colder. A brown dwarf that’s as frosty as the Earth’s North Pole has been discovered lurking incredibly close to our Solar System. Astronomer Keven Luhman from Pennsylvania State University used NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and the Spitzer Space Telescope to pinpoint […]

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Still No Sign Of ‘Planet X’ In Latest NASA Survey

by Elizabeth Howell March 12, 2014

It’s one of those rumors that just won’t quiet down — a large planet lurking at the solar system’s edge. Back in the 1840s, when Neptune was discovered, its orbit seemed to be a little “off” from what was expected. Some astronomers of the time said that was caused by a planet further out. Although […]

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