Shocked gas in galaxy collisions

Collisions between galaxies, especially ones rich in molecular gas, can trigger bursts of star formation that heat the dust and result in their shining brightly in the infrared. Astronomers think that there is also significant ...

A black hole in a low mass X-ray binary

A globular cluster is a roughly spherical ensemble of stars (as many as several million) that are gravitationally bound together, and typically located in the outer regions of galaxies. Low mass X-ray binary stars (LMXBs) ...

The lifetimes of massive star-forming regions

Astronomers can roughly estimate how long it takes for a new star to form: it is the time it takes for material in a gas cloud to collapse in free-fall, and is set by the mass, the size of the cloud, and gravity. Although ...

The space weather forecast for Proxima Centauri B

Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Earth (only 4.28 light-years away) is getting a lot of attention these days. It hosts a planet, Proxima Cen b, whose mass is about 1.3 Earth-mass (though it could be larger, depending ...

Next stop: A trip inside the Sun's atmosphere

Every so often the sun emits an explosive burst of charged particles that makes its way to Earth and often wreaks havoc on power grids, aircraft and satellite systems. When clouds of high-speed charged particles come racing ...

The fate of exomoons

When a star like our sun gets to be very old, after another seven billion years or so, it will shrink to a fraction of its radius and become a white dwarf star, no longer able to sustain nuclear burning. Studying the older ...

Textured dust storms on Mars

Astronomers studying Mars first noted the presence of yellow clouds on its surface in the 1870's. Today these windblown dust storms on Mars are well known, and can span local, regional or even global in scale. Storms can ...

Superluminous supernovae

Supernovae, the explosive deaths of massive stars, are among the most momentous events in the cosmos because they disburse into space all of the chemical elements that were produced inside their progenitor stars, including ...

Could fast radio bursts be powering alien probes?

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence has looked for many different signs of alien life, from radio broadcasts to laser flashes, without success. However, newly published research suggests that mysterious phenomena ...

Gravity wave detection with atomic clocks

The recent detection of gravitation waves (GW) from the merger of two black holes of about thirty solar-masses each with the ground-based LIGO facility has generated renewed enthusiasm for developing even more sensitive measurement ...

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