nov 112013
 
"Old Young" Stars in the Eagle Nebula

  The early stages of a star’s life are critical both for the star and for any future planets that might develop around it. The process of star formation, once thought to involve just the simple coalescence of material under the influence of gravity, actually entails a complex series of stages, with the youngest stars [continue reading]

feb 012013
 
Hungry Twin Stars Gobbling Their First Meals

  Just-forming stars, like growing babies, are always hungry and must “feed” on huge amounts of gas and dust from dense envelopes surrounding them at birth. Now a team of astronomers including Robert Gutermuth, a University of Massachusetts Amherst expert in imaging data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, reports observing an unusual “baby” star that [continue reading]

jul 052012
 
Planet-Forming Disk Vanishes Into Thin Air

  A study published in the July 5 edition of the journal Nature is challenging scientists’ understanding of planet formation, suggesting that planets might form much faster than previously thought or, alternatively, that stars harboring planets could be far more numerous. Animation showing the disappearance of dust from the TYC 8241 2652 system. Credit: Gemini [continue reading]