okt 102013
 
Orbital Ballet of Pluto's Moons Hint of Long-Ago Collisions

  A large impact 4 billion years ago may account for the puzzling orbital configuration among Pluto’s five known satellites, according to a new model developed by planetary scientists from Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). Pluto’s moonsystem. Image Credit: NASA/ESA Starting with Charon, Pluto’s nearest and largest moon, each of the successively more distant — and much [continue reading]

aug 292012
 
Binary White Dwarfs Produce Gravitational Waves

  A team of astronomers led by researchers from The University of Texas at Austin has confirmed the emission of gravitational waves from the second-strongest known source in our galaxy by studying the shrinking orbital period of a unique pair of burnt-out stars. Their observations tested Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity in a new [continue reading]

jul 052012
 
'Impossible' Binary Stars Discovered

  A team of astronomers have used the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) on Hawaii to discover four pairs of stars that orbit each other in less than 4 hours. Until now it was thought that such close-in binary stars could not exist. The new discoveries come from the telescope’s Wide Field Camera (WFCAM) Transit [continue reading]