LIGO’s neutron-star smashup might not have been a typical short gamma-ray burst. If true, the detection points toward a new class of gamma-ray bursts — but the jury is still out.
This week's roundup of astro news brings us a polar-orbiting planet, a novel way to measure stellar masses, and ginormous convective bubbles on a distant star.
The habitability of distant exoplanets is dependent upon many factors — one of which is the activity of their host stars. To learn about which stars are most likely to flare, a recent study examines tens of thousands of stellar flares observed by Kepler. Need for a Broader Sample Most of our understanding of what…
A team of astronomers has found signs of small stars forming within a few light-years of the Milky Way’s central black hole.
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?
Spacetime ripples from the neutron star smash-up usher in the age of multi-messenger astronomy.
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.
The exoplanet-hunting Kepler satellite has long monitored thousands of stars, but the brightest ones have largely remained out of its reach — until now.
Thermonuclear power sets off a type of stellar explosion known as a classical nova. Now, new research explains the mechanisms that cause these blasts to light up.
Astronomers and historians pinpoint the source of a 15th-century classical nova. It’s currently regathering strength.
Researchers have constructed a detailed view of the surface of red supergiant star Antares, revealing a chaotic atmosphere powered by mechanisms that are still poorly understood.
A peculiar white dwarf could be what’s left after a failed supernova explosion.
Solar astronomers may have finally detected gravity waves in our star’s core, revealing that the Sun’s central region rotates about four times faster than the outer layers.
New ALMA observations reveal a forming star as it launches a wind from the edge of the disk that feeds it.
The Sun, now halfway through its life, might be slowing its magnetic activity, which could lead to permanent changes in the sunspots and auroras we see.
An object previously identified as a free-floating, large Jupiter analog turns out to be two objects — each with the mass of a few Jupiters. This system is the lowest-mass binary we’ve ever discovered.
A new study of a nearby cluster of newly formed stars reveals that brown dwarfs may rival stars in the Milky Way in number, with one brown dwarf for every two bona fide stars.
At what point does a clump of gas ignite, turning into a star? Astronomers now have an answer to what makes a star — and what makes a brown dwarf.
A new study of data archived from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) spacecraft is revealing just how hard life might be on planets like those in the TRAPPIST-1 system.
New ideas have emerged to explain Tabby's Star, officially known as KIC 8462852, but the jury's still out on the cause of the star's weird behavior.
Ground- and space-based observations have now shed intriguing new light on a mysterious radio source more than 3 billion light-years away.
Astronomers may have watched a star collapse directly into a black hole — minus the supernova. The failed supernova could help understand how stars die.
Two recent studies suggest that brown dwarfs, or so-called “failed stars,” are nevertheless more like stars than planets.
Tabby's star, otherwise known as the most mysterious star in the galaxy, is dipping drastically in brightness, giving astronomers an opportunity to figure out what has been causing this star's weird behavior.
Stellar fireworks are what remains of a centuries-old explosion, the concussive consequence of four stars that came together in a gravitational tussle.