logo

stars

  • HD_209458b_Sunset

    What Do Romantic Aliens See at the End of Their Alien Days?

    When it comes to exoplanets, reality is catching up with science fiction. Take Kepler-16b, a Saturn-size planet roughly 200 light-years from Earth that circles not just one star but a pair of stars. Nicknamed Tatooine, after the fictional home planet of Luke and Anakin Skywalker, this world must see sunsets that are twice as breathtaking. […]

  • Eta Carinae pre supernova

    How the Universe Made the Stuff That Made Us

      When our Universe was in its infancy, the only element it contained was hydrogen, the simplest one—not nearly enough by itself to create interesting things like planets and people. By the time things cooled sufficiently for the single proton in each hydrogen atom to pair with a negatively charged electron, about 92 percent of […]

  • Nebra Sky Disk

    The Amazing Sky Calendar That Ancients Used to Track Seasons

    The Nebra Sky Disk photographed in Basel, Switzerland, in 2006Dbachmann via Wikipedia   Henry Westphal is tired. It’s July 4, 1999, a Sunday. He and a friend are climbing the Mittelberg or “Central Hill,” a small mountain near Nebra, in central Germany. Both men know of ancient ruins located here. Equipped with two metal detectors, […]

  • placeholder

    Why Galactic Collisions Are So Beautiful

    The Antennae Galaxies are in a state of “starburst,” when the gas from the two colliding galaxies crashes together to produce huge numbers of new stars.ESA/Hubble & NASA According to the basic approximation, stars are formed by a stately, gradual process that belies the power it eventually unleashes. Within a great gas cloud, gravity slowly […]

  • Pitock_HERO-2

    Falling in Love With the Dark

    One astronomer has taken to U.S. National Parks to rekindle an old romance.

  • Savin_HERO

    Before There Were Stars

    The unlikely heroes that made starlight possible.

  • placeholder

    Supernovas & Other Big Bangs: Where Your Body Comes From

    “Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” —Carl Sagan, Cosmos That Carl Sagan quote is among one of his most famous sayings, […]

  • HD 8049 white dwarf

    When a Planet Is Not Really a Planet at All

    As astronomers point their telescopes up at the sky to learn about the cosmos, they tend to push those devices’ abilities to their limits. The edge of what we can measure is, of course, where all the interesting things are happening. The downside of this ambition is that the conclusions drawn from the newest data […]