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How do we study the Sun?

A quick think about optical astronomy would have you imagine that most of it takes place at night. Isn't that when the stars and galaxies come out to play? Well, that assumption makes at least one glaring error: Earth happens ...

dateFeb 09, 2015 in Space Exploration
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How big is the biggest star we have ever found?

The universe is such a big place that it is easy to get baffled by the measurements that astronomers make. The size of UY Scuti, possibly one of the largest stars we have observed to date, is certainly baffling.

dateFeb 09, 2015 in Astronomy
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What is a Wolf-Rayet star?

Wolf-Rayet stars represent a final burst of activity before a huge star begins to die. These stars, which are at least 20 times more massive than the Sun, "live fast and die hard", according to NASA.

dateFeb 06, 2015 in Astronomy
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The ages of sun-like stars

The mass of a star is perhaps its most significant feature. It determines how brightly it shines (a star ten times more massive than the Sun will, during its normal lifetime, shine about forty million times brighter than ...

dateFeb 06, 2015 in Astronomy
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How are planets formed?

How did the Solar System's planets come to be? The leading theory is something known as the "protoplanet hypothesis", which essentially says that very small objects stuck to each other and grew bigger and bigger—big enough ...

dateJan 30, 2015 in Space Exploration
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