Planet

Stellar Ghosts Haunt Stars

Stellar Ghosts Haunt Stars

Observing Type Ia supernovae must be accomplished quickly. This is because they flare into existence, and then dim to darkness, within only a few months. In order to study supernovae that have long since faded, and the stellar white dwarf ghosts that created them, Dr. Kirby and his colleagues used a technique informally named galactic archaeology. The term galactic archaeology refers to …

Brown Dwarfs And Giant Planets

Brown Dwarfs And Giant Planets

Brown dwarf stars are often referred to as “failed stars” because they were born with insufficient mass to light their nuclear-fusing stellar fires–even though they formed just like their more massive, fiery, glaring, hydrogen-burning “true” star kin. Because of their puny size, astronomers have found it difficult to distinguish brown dwarfs from giant planets, such …

Icy Quartet

Icy Quartet

Icy Quartet Galileo discovered Europa in January 1610, along with three other large moons that have been named Galilean moons in his honor: Io, Ganymede and Callisto. On several clear starlit winter nights, Galileo climbed up to the roof of his house in Padua, and discovered the distant Jovian quartet. He accomplished this using only a primitive …

Frozen Time Capsules From Afar

Frozen-Time-Capsules-From-Afar

Comets are delicate and shortlived. They are frozen wanderers that originated in the outer fringes of our Solar System, but were infortunately evicted from their dimly-lit frigid home. As a result, these outcast celestial snowballs have come sweeping into Earth’s inner region of our Solar System, that is very far from their cold shadowy cradles …

Strange Ice

Strange-Ice

“While the icy spectral fingerprint we uncovered was entirely reasonable, especially as this combination of ices can be created in the lab, pinpointing this specific wavelength in infrared light on another world is unprecedented,” commented Dr. Stephen C. Tegler in a May 22, 2019 Gemini Press Release. Dr. Tegler, of Northern Arizona University’s Astrophysical Materials Laboratory, led the …