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]

jul 302013
 
Planetary ‘Runaway Greenhouse’ Easier Triggered

  It might be easier than previously thought for a planet to overheat into the scorchingly uninhabitable “runaway greenhouse” stage, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington and the University of Victoria published July 28 in the journal Nature Geoscience. Illustration of the overheated surface of Venus. Image Credit: ESA/AOES In the [continue reading]

apr 102013
 
Planets and Debris Disk Found Around Retired Star

  ESA’s Herschel space observatory has provided the first images of a dust belt – produced by colliding comets or asteroids – orbiting a sub-giant star known to host a planetary system. Kappa Coronae Borealis, based on Herschel PACS observations at 100 μm. North is up and east is left. The star is in the center of the frame [continue reading]

mrt 122013
 
The Third Closest Binary Star System Found

  A pair of newly discovered stars is the third-closest binary star system to the Sun, according to a paper that will be published in Astrophysical Journal Letters. The duo is the closest star system discovered since 1916. The discovery was made by Kevin Luhman, an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State [continue reading]

feb 262013
 
Evidence for E.T. Might Come from Dying Stars

  Even dying stars could host planets with life – and if such life exists, we might be able to detect it within the next decade. This encouraging result comes from a new theoretical study of Earth-like planets orbiting white dwarf stars. Researchers found that we could detect oxygen in the atmosphere of a white [continue reading]

feb 092013
 
Advanced Civilizations: Rare but Not Impossible

  NASA’s Kepler mission has identified 2,740 planets orbiting other stars, but do any of them harbor intelligent life? Artwork depicting a multiple planet system around a cool red dwarf star. Image Credit: ESO Scientists at UC Berkeley have now used the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to look for intelligent radio signals from planets [continue reading]