jan 042014
A New Study of How Binary Stars Form

  Using the new capabilities of the upgraded Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), scientists have discovered previously-unseen binary companions to a pair of very young protostars. The discovery gives strong support for one of the competing explanations for how double-star systems form. Binary star formation through disk fragmentation starts (left) with a young [continue reading]

dec 292013
Anne's Image of the Day: elliptical galaxy Messier 105

December 29, 2013 Messier 105, an elliptical galaxy in Leo Image Credit: Karl Gebhardt (University of Michigan), Tod Lauer (NOAO), and NASA Messier 105 (also known as NGC 3379) is an elliptical galaxy of some 55,000 light-years across, located about 34 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Leo (the Lion), while it [continue reading]

dec 062013
An Exoplanet Discovered That Shouldn't Be There

  The discovery of a giant planet orbiting its star at 650 times the average Earth-Sun distance has astronomers puzzled over how such a strange system came to be. This is an artist’s conception of a young planet in a distant orbit around its host star. The star still harbors a debris disk, remnant material [continue reading]

dec 012013
The First Stars

  The first stars in the Universe are believed to have formed only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, about 13.7 billion years ago. They heated and ionized the pristine intergalactic medium, and their supernova explosions enriched the primordial gas with the first heavy elements (the Universe was born with only hydrogen [continue reading]

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]

okt 262013
The Deepest Probe of the Universe Ever

  NASA’s Great Observatories are teaming up to look deeper into the Universe than ever before. With a boost from natural “zoom lenses” found in space, they should be able to uncover galaxies that are as much as 100 times fainter than what the Hubble, Spitzer, and Chandra space telescopes can typically see. Abell 2744 [continue reading]