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.

Supernova art

The Star That Wouldn’t Die

Observations of a stellar explosion that refused to fade away have astronomers scratching their heads. What created the blast — and could it explain massive black holes?

When a Star and a Binary Meet

What happens in the extreme environments of globular clusters when a star and a binary system meet? A team of scientists has new ideas about how these objects can deform, change their paths, spiral around each other, and merge.

Supernova 1987A remnant, medium field

Happy 30th Birthday, Supernova 1987A

The first naked-eye supernova since the invention of the telescope lit up the global astronomy world on the morning of February 23, 1987, as news spread by phone and teletype. Supernova 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud eventually reached magnitude 2.9, before beginning a long fade and a cascade of unexpected developments that continues to…