Astronomy news

Hypervariable galactic nuclei

Extreme variability in the intensity of the optical light of galaxies, by factors of two or more, is of great interest to astronomers. It can flag the presence of rare types of supernovae, for example, or spot sudden accretion ...

dateOct 31, 2016 in Astronomy
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Image: Hubble admires a youthful globular star cluster

Globular clusters offer some of the most spectacular sights in the night sky. These ornate spheres contain hundreds of thousands of stars, and reside in the outskirts of galaxies. The Milky Way contains over 150 such clusters—and ...

dateOct 31, 2016 in Astronomy
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How planets like Jupiter form

Young giant planets are born from gas and dust. Researchers of ETH Zürich and the Universities of Zürich and Bern simulated different scenarios relying on the computing power of the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre ...

dateOct 28, 2016 in Astronomy
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Gaia spies two temporarily magnified stars

While scanning the sky to measure the position of over one billion stars in our Galaxy, ESA's Gaia satellite has detected two rare instances of stars whose light was temporarily boosted by other celestial objects passing ...

dateOct 28, 2016 in Astronomy
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NASA missions harvest a passel of 'pumpkin' stars

Astronomers using observations from NASA's Kepler and Swift missions have discovered a batch of rapidly spinning stars that produce X-rays at more than 100 times the peak levels ever seen from the sun. The stars, which spin ...

dateOct 27, 2016 in Astronomy
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A dead star's ghostly glow

The eerie glow of a dead star, which exploded long ago as a supernova, reveals itself in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the Crab Nebula. But don't be fooled. The ghoulish-looking object still has a pulse. Buried ...

dateOct 27, 2016 in Astronomy
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