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.

Here's the Wild Duck Cluster (Messier 11) as recorded with the USNO's just-released URAT1 survey. The magnitude limit is 19.0.U.S. Naval Observatory

New Ultra-Deep Star Catalog Released

With the initial release of the USNO's Robotic Astrometric Catalog (URAT1), astronomers now have precise positions for about 228 million stars in the northern sky. Given my love of stone walls, I've been thinking about building one in the backyard to enclose the flower beds. But I haven't had the gumption to actually buy...