Chemical signatures of iron predict red supergiant temperature

Red supergiants are a class of star that end their lives in supernova explosions. Their lifecycles are not fully understood, partly due to difficulties in measuring their temperatures. For the first time, astronomers have ...

ESO telescope sees surface of dim Betelgeuse

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have captured the unprecedented dimming of Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star in the constellation of Orion. The stunning new images of the star's surface show not only the ...

Betelgeuse continues to dim, diminishes to 1.506 magnitude

Betelgeuse keeps getting dimmer, and everyone is wondering what exactly that means. The star will go supernova at the end of its life, but that's not projected to happen for tens of thousands of years or so. So what's causing ...

Video: The future of the Orion constellation

Stars are not motionless in the sky: their positions change continuously as they move through our Galaxy, the Milky Way. These motions, too slow to be appreciated with the naked eye over a human lifetime, can be captured ...

Have we really just seen the birth of a black hole?

For almost half a century, scientists have subscribed to the theory that when a star comes to the end of its life-cycle, it will undergo a gravitational collapse. At this point, assuming enough mass is present, this collapse ...

Catching the planets and new views of Mars

Looking west after sunset on Friday September 26, the thin waxing crescent moon forms a triangle with Mercury and Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo. You can see how far Mercury has travelled since passing ...

Kip Thorne discusses first discovery of Thorne-Zytkow object

In 1975, Kip Thorne (BS '62, and the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus) and then-Caltech postdoctoral fellow Anna Żytkow sought the answer to an intriguing question: Would it be possible to have ...

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