Stellar Science

Most of the lights we see in the night sky with our naked eye are stars, and stars have always been at the heart of astronomy. We use telescopes to peer through dusty gas to see young stars forming, and we watch in awe as old stars explode in supernovae. Stars die to become white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes, but the ways these metamorphoses work still perplex astronomers.

Keep up to date on the latest discoveries in our study of the stars. From new classes of variables to the brilliant smashup of two neutron stars, we bring you news on how stars are born, live, and die in the universe.

Pleiades

Resolving the Pleiades Distance Problem

A new measurement, made using radio interferometry, argues that the distance to the Pleiades star cluster measured by ESA's Hipparcos satellite really is wrong — and that ground-based astronomers had it right all along.

view of Milky Way from ULAS J0744+25

The Most Distant Milky Way Stars

Astronomers have discovered two stars that lie more than 700,000 light-years from Earth, making them the most distant stellar members of our galaxy ever detected. Blogger John Bochanski tells the story of how his team found these faraway stars.

In this image, NuSTAR data, which show high-energy X-rays from radioactive material, are colored blue. Lower-energy X-rays from non-radioactive material, imaged previously with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, are shown in red, yellow and green.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/CXC/SAO

Quark Nova Spotted in Cas A?

Two elements deep within Cassiopeia A, hint the supernova remnant underwent a quark nova — a theoretical second explosion that leaves behind a quark star — just days after the original supernova.

standardcandle_480

Mysteriously Bright Supernova Explained

In 2010, a mysteriously bright supernova appeared, later sparking a debate within the astronomy community. But new images of the now-faded supernova reveal an intervening — and until now invisible — cosmic lens, which magnified its light.