A cosmic amethyst in a dying star

On Earth, amethysts can form when gas bubbles in lava cool under the right conditions. In space, a dying star with a mass similar to the Sun is capable of producing a structure on par with the appeal of these beautiful gems.

Young giant planet offers clues to formation of exotic worlds

For most of human history our understanding of how planets form and evolve was based on the eight (or nine) planets in our solar system. But over the last 25 years, the discovery of more than 4,000 exoplanets, or planets ...

Hot stars are plagued by giant magnetic spots

Astronomers using European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes have discovered giant spots on the surface of extremely hot stars hidden in stellar clusters. Not only are these stars plagued by magnetic spots, some also ...

Researchers use 'hot Jupiter' data to mine exoplanet chemistry

After spotting a curious pattern in scientific papers—they described exoplanets as being cooler than expected—Cornell University astronomers have improved a mathematical model to accurately gauge the temperatures of planets ...

Eighteen-hour-year planet on edge of destruction

Astronomers from the University of Warwick have observed an exoplanet orbiting a star in just over 18 hours, the shortest orbital period ever observed for a planet of its type.

Planet WASP-12b is on a death spiral, say scientists

Earth is doomed—but not for 5 billion years. Our planet will be roasted as our sun expands and becomes a red giant, but the exoplanet WASP-12b, located 600 light-years away in the constellation Auriga, has less than a thousandth ...

Black hole nurtures baby stars a million light years away

Black holes are famous for ripping objects apart, including stars. But now, astronomers have uncovered a black hole that may have sparked the births of stars over a mind-boggling distance, and across multiple galaxies.

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