jul 042012
Oh, Baby! A Rapidly Spinning Protostar Shows Off Her X-ray Spots

  X-ray observations have revealed something curious about the young star that illuminates McNeil’s Nebula, a glowing jewel of cosmic dust in the Orion constellation: The object is a protostar rotating once a day, or 30 times faster than the sun. The stellar baby also has distinct birthmarks—two X-ray-emitting spots, where gas flows from a [continue reading]

jun 182012
The Mystery of the "Non-Exploding Supernova"

  Somewhere in the Milky Way, a massive old star is about to die a spectacular death. As its nuclear fuel runs out, the star begins to collapse under its own tremendous weight. Crushing pressure triggers new nuclear reactions, setting the stage for a terrifying blast. And then… nothing happens. A supercomputer model of a [continue reading]

jun 102012
Hunting at Black Holes, Supernovae and more Hot Phenomena

  NASA is scheduled to launch an orbiting X-ray satellite on Wednesday (June 13) that will open a new window on the universe, allowing scientists to probe the roiling edges of black holes, the turbulent outflow from exploding stars, and the smallest, most frequent flares on the sun. Artist’s concept showing NASA’s NuSTAR mission orbiting [continue reading]