To determine the composition of the TRAPPIST-1 planets, the team used a unique software package, developed by Unterborn and Lorenzo, that uses state-of-the-art mineral physics calculators. The software, called ExoPlex, allowed the team to combine all of the available information about the TRAPPIST-1 system, including the chemical makeup of the star, rather than being limited to just the mass and radius of individual planets.
About 70,000 years ago, when the human species was already on Earth, a small reddish star approached our solar system and gravitationally disturbed comets and asteroids. Astronomers from the Complutense University of Madrid and the University of Cambridge have verified that the movement of some of these objects is still marked by that stellar encounter.
An MIT scientist has detected radio echoes of a black hole feeding on a star, suggesting black hole emits a jet of energy proportional to the stellar material it gobbles up.
New research finds that 'Oumuamua, the rocky object identified as the first confirmed interstellar asteroid, very likely came from a binary star system.
When a thin purple ribbon of light appeared and starting glowing in the midnight sky over Regina, Canada, in 2016, Notanee Bourassa knew that what he was seeing was not normal. Having watched the northern lights for almost 30 years, he knew this wasn't an aurora. It was something else.
Using Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) mounted on the Subaru Telescope, astronomers have identified nearly 200 'protoclusters,' the progenitors of galaxy clusters, in the early Universe, about 12 billion years ago, about ten times more than previously known. They also found that quasars don't tend to reside in protoclusters; but if there is one quasar in a protocluster, there is likely a second nearby. This result raises doubts about the relation between protoclusters and quasars.
Astronomers have discovered that all galaxies rotate once every billion years, no matter how big they are.
Astronomers have put NASA's Hubble Space Telescope on an Indiana Jones-type quest to uncover an ancient 'relic galaxy' in our own cosmic backyard.
Scientists report the existence of 15 new planets -- including one 'super-Earth' that could harbor liquid water -- orbiting small, cool stars near our solar system. These stars, known as red dwarfs, are of enormous interest for studies of planetary formation and evolution.
Water is crucial for life, but how do you make water? Cooking up some H2O takes more than mixing hydrogen and oxygen. It requires the special conditions found deep within frigid molecular clouds, where dust shields against destructive ultraviolet light and aids chemical reactions. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will peer into these cosmic reservoirs to gain new insights into the origin and evolution of water and other key building blocks for habitable planets.