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 ...

Newborn exoplanet discovered around young star (Update)

Planet formation is a complex and tumultuous process that remains shrouded in mystery. Astronomers have discovered more than 3,000 exoplanets—planets orbiting stars other than our Sun—however, nearly all are middle-aged, ...

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, ...

Hubble finds clues to the birth of supermassive black holes

Astrophysicists have taken a major step forward in understanding how supermassive black holes formed. Using data from Hubble and two other space telescopes, Italian researchers have found the best evidence yet for the seeds ...

Light echoes give clues to planet nursery around star

Imagine you want to measure the size of a room, but it's completely dark. If you shout, you can tell if the space you're in is relatively big or small, depending on how long it takes to hear the echo after it bounces off ...

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