Astronomers have uncovered strong evidence that brown dwarfs form like stars. Using the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array (SMA), they detected molecules of carbon monoxide shooting outward from the object known as ISO-Oph 102. Such molecular outflows typically are seen coming from young stars or
protostars. However, this object has an estimated mass of 60 Jupiters, too small to be a star. Astronomers have classified it as a brown dwarf.
Scientists have detected an organic sugar molecule that is directly linked to the origin of life, in a region of our galaxy where habitable planets could exist. The international team of researchers, including a researcher at University College London (UCL), used the IRAM radio telescope in France to detect the molecule in a massive star forming region of space, some 26000 light years from Earth.
Two of our galaxy's most massive stars, until recently shrouded in mystery, have been viewed by the Hubble Space Telescope, unveiling greater detail than ever before.
The image shows a pair of colossal stars, WR 25 and Tr16-244, located within the open cluster Trumpler 16. This cluster is embedded within the Carina Nebula, an immense cauldron of gas and dust that lies approximately 7500 light-years from Earth. The Carina Nebula
contains several ultra-hot stars, including these two star systems and the famous blue star Eta Carinae
, which has the highest luminosity yet confirmed.
is one of the best-known examples of stars surrounded by a dusty 'debris' disc. Only 12 million years old, the 'baby star' Beta Pictoris is located about 70 light-years away towards the constellation Pictor (the Painter).
Debris discs are composed of dust resulting from collisions among larger bodies like planetary embryos or asteroids. They are a bigger version of the zodiacal dust in our Solar System.
I envision a Walley World outpost on Venus, or perhaps the next passing comet...what, you have a better idea?
Then send it to NASA. The space agency announced an opportunity
for PI-led space investigations for its New Frontier program. One of NASA's strategic goals is to "advance scientific knowledge of the origin and history of the solar system, the potential for life elsewhere, and the hazards and resources present as humans explore space." To that end, the NASA Science Mission Directorate is conducting a program of planetary science to answer the following questions:
The explosion of a binary star inside a planetary nebula
has been captured by a team of researchers – an event that has not been witnessed for more than 100 years. The study, published in Astrophysical Journal Letters
, predicts that the combined mass of the two stars in the system may be high enough for the stars to eventually spiral into each other, triggering an even larger supernova explosion.
This is why women should just stay in the kitchen and leave the real work to the men. (I'm still bitter about being told in 1997 by a construction foreman that I hammer like a girl.)
Move over, Malibu - ancient Mars may take the solar system's top beachfront destination prize. It possibly had not just one ocean, but two! An older, wiser ocean, surrounding a younger version that probably knew everything about marine life and just wanted to be left alone.
The powerful black holes at the center of massive galaxies and galaxy clusters act as hearts to the systems, pumping energy out at regular intervals to regulate the growth of the black holes themselves, as well as star formation, according to new data from NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory.
Scientists from the University of Michigan, the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Jacobs University in Germany contributed to the results.
The team of European and US astronomers used ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope, both in Chile, to study light from Sagittarius A* at near-infrared wavelengths and the longer submillimetre wavelengths respectively. This is the first time that astronomers have caught a flare with these telescopes simultaneously. The telescopes' location in the southern hemisphere provides the best vantage point for studying the Galactic Centre.
"Observations like this, over a range of wavelengths, are really the only way to understand what's going on close to the black hole," says Andreas Eckart of the University of Cologne, who led the team.