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 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]

nov 062013
Inhabitable Exoplanets Might be Unveiled by New Tool

  Funding for SPIRou, a spectropolarimeter and a high-precision velocimeter optimized for both the detection of habitable Earth twins orbiting around nearby red dwarf stars and the study of the formation of Sun-like stars and their planets, was confirmed Monday November 4, 2013 by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) observatory. University of Montreal and France’s Institut [continue reading]

nov 052013
Habitable Planets Around Sun-Like Stars are Common

  Astronomers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the University of California, Berkeley now estimate that one in five stars like our Sun have planets about the size of Earth and a surface temperature conducive to life. This conclusion is based on a statistical analysis of all observations from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. [continue reading]

okt 092013
Found: Planets Skimming a Star’s Surface

  A new planet-hunting survey has revealed planetary candidates with orbital periods as short as four hours and so close to their host stars that they are nearly skimming the stellar surface. If confirmed, these candidates would be among the closest planets to their stars discovered so far. Brian Jackson of the Carnegie Institution for [continue reading]

aug 282013
The Oldest Twin of Our Sun Found

  ESO’s VLT provides new clues to help solve lithium mystery   An international team led by astronomers in Brazil has used ESO’s Very Large Telescope to identify and study the oldest solar twin known to date. Located 250 light-years from Earth, the star HIP 102152 is more like the Sun than any other solar [continue reading]