News tagged with spitzer space telescope

Orphaned protostars

Stars form as gravity contracts the gas and dust in an interstellar cloud until clumps develop that are dense enough to coalesce into stars. Precisely how this happens, however, is very uncertain, and the processes are hard ...

dateJul 25, 2016 in Astronomy
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The dwarf planet Orcus

Since the early 2000s, more and more objects have been discovered in the outer solar system that resemble planets. However, until they are officially classified, the terms Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) and Trans-Neptunian Object ...

dateAug 31, 2015 in Space Exploration
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NASA image: Stellar sparklers that last

While fireworks only last a short time here on Earth, a bundle of cosmic sparklers in a nearby cluster of stars will be going off for a very long time. NGC 1333 is a star cluster populated with many young stars that are less ...

dateJul 03, 2015 in Astronomy
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Gluttonous star may hold clues to planet formation

In 1936, the young star FU Orionis began gobbling material from its surrounding disk of gas and dust with a sudden voraciousness. During a three-month binge, as matter turned into energy, the star became 100 times brighter, ...

dateJun 14, 2016 in Astronomy
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Saturn's rings in a supercomputer

Why do some planets, like Saturn or Jupiter, have rings, while others, like Earth or Mars, do not? It turns out that "size does not matter"—gas giants like Saturn are not the only bodies that can possess rings; even tiny ...

dateAug 07, 2015 in Space Exploration
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