How ‘intruder’ stars have changed Earth’s climate over the eons

Stars intruding into the sun’s cosmic backyard could have shifted Earth’s orbit in the distant past, triggering major climate events in our planet’s history.   The gravitational influence of these intruder stars has also impacted the orbit of other planets in the solar system, causing minor deviations called perturbations.  New research looks at the effect … Read more

Bubble-Like ‘Stars Within Stars’ Could Explain Black Hole Weirdness : ScienceAlert

Once hypothetical monsters born in a tangled nest of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, black holes are now recognized as bona fide celestial objects as real as stars, moons, and galaxies. But make no mistake. Their engines are still as mysterious as they were when the German theoretical physicist Karl Schwarzschild first played with Einstein’s … Read more

‘Odd couple’ kissing stars created by unromantic cannibalistic feeding dance

Valentine’s Day won’t be all hearts and flowers for some “kissing stars” — or, in other words, stars that exist in close binaries that have been locked in a waltz that has left one a shrunken husk, and the other a swollen orb. Astronomers have zoomed in on a group of such “odd couple” stars, … Read more

A star’s extreme outburst could be tormenting baby planets

An extreme eruption from a young star that resembles the sun suggests budding planets have to exist in a rather savage environment. A team of scientists from the Center for Astrophysics (CfA) used the Submillimeter Array (SMA), an array of telescopes on Maunakea in Hawaii, to observe the young star HD 283572. The crew watched as HD … Read more

Planets Orbiting Dead Stars Foretell the Solar System’s Far-Future Fate

In the distant future—about six billion or seven billion years hence—the sun will start to die, swelling up into a bloated red giant. In a span of several hundred million years it will blow away its outer layers, lose about half its mass and leave behind its überhot, überdense, super small core: a white dwarf. … Read more

JWST Imaged Two Apparent Alien Worlds Still Circling The Bodies of Their Dead Stars : ScienceAlert

No star dies quietly. Even the most peaceful of stellar deaths involve quakes, eruptions, and the shedding of huge amounts of mass into surrounding space. This will be the eventual fate of the Sun, puffing up into a red giant that may extend as far as Mars before its outer material drifts free and its … Read more

NASA exoplanet telescope discovers ‘super-Earth’ in its star’s Goldilocks zone

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has spotted a ‘super-Earth’ planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a relatively nearby red dwarf star. The extrasolar planet or ‘exoplanet,’ which has been designated TOI-715 b, might have company in the form of an Earth-sized planet.  The discovery is significant because red dwarfs, which are smaller and … Read more

James Webb Space Telescope makes rare detection of 2 exoplanets orbiting dead stars

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has already proven itself adept at peering into the past by imaging objects at tremendous distances, but a new breakthrough may have seen the powerful instrument act almost like a scientific crystal ball, staring into the far future of the solar system.  The JWST performed its prognostication when it … Read more

What we know about the stars where NASA will hunt for alien life

Could a nearby super Earth host life? Steven Hobbs/Stocktrek Images/Alamy To prepare for one of the most advanced searches for life on other planets, astronomers have examined the stars that a new multibillion-dollar telescope might target. They discovered some may be better suited than others to hunt for potential alien life. In the 2040s, NASA … Read more