feb 132013
Gaia will Reveal the Secrets of Ultracool Dwarfs

  Among the hundred billion stars which can be observed in the Milky Way, there is a group of stars, the so-named ultracool dwarfs, defined as stars with a temperature below 2500 K, which includes ultracool dwarfs and brown dwarfs. It is a really interesting group: they are the most ancient objects in our Galaxy [continue reading]

nov 042012
Intimate Details of Hundred Galaxies Published

  The Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area survey (CALIFA survey) has published a first set of data, offering views of one hundred galaxies in the local Universe at an unprecedented level of detail. This colour-magnitude diagram of 151 galaxies observed by CALIFA arranges galaxies by their colour and their brightness (magnitude). For each galaxy [continue reading]

okt 232012
Chemical Compositions Reveal Two Different Types of Star Clusters

  New research using the world’s largest telescope at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii has revealed two distinct populations of star clusters surrounding galaxies that have radically different chemical compositions. Messier 55  is a large globular cluster with a diameter of 96 light-years, held together in a tight spherical shape by gravity. It is located [continue reading]

okt 052012
Chemistry of Protoplanetary Disks Can Now Be Studied

  According to the nebular hypothesis, star formation produces a gaseous protoplanetary disk around it, providing the environment and material for planet formation. Studying these systems can generate information regarding how and when planets formed, and is a hot topic in astrophysics. Artist impression of the Solar System. Image Credit: ESA Until recently, in depth [continue reading]

aug 052012
Exploring the Chemistry of Mars

A researcher at The Open University in the UK will take part in a mission to explore the chemistry of Mars when Curiosity lands on the planet. The area where NASA’s Curiosity rover will land has a geological diversity that scientists are eager to investigate, as seen in this false-color map based on data from NASA’s [continue reading]

mei 032012
Four white dwarf stars caught in the act of consuming ‘earth-like’ exoplanets

  University of Warwick astrophysicists have pinpointed four white dwarfs surrounded by dust from shattered planetary bodies which once bore striking similarities to  the composition of the Earth. The inner region of an exo-planetary system where four terrestrial planets orbit a solar-like star. Using the Hubble Space Telescope for the biggest survey to date of the [continue reading]