BOSTON — For the first time, a stellar eruption called a coronal mass ejection has been spotted fleeing a distant star.
Such outbursts of plasma and charged particles are well-known on the sun, and commonly follow a burst of light called a solar flare (SN Online: 4/17/15). Astronomers had detected flares on other stars, but never a corresponding coronal mass ejection, or CME, until now....
BOSTON — Many sunlike stars are eerie clones, but ours is an individual. A study of solar twins reveals that the sun’s chemical makeup is surprisingly different from that of its nearby peers, while those stars are almost identical to one another. Since a star and its planets are made from the same materials, that may mean the exoplanets orbiting those stars come in just a few flavors. It also...
News in Brief
Behold, the sharpest view yet of a planet-in-progress.
New infrared telescope observations reveal an exoplanet that appears to be growing inside the disk of gas and dust around a star about 370 light-years away. Astronomers have indirectly identified other exoplanet embryos by observing the paths that these young worlds cleared through the dusty disks around their parent stars (SN Online...
News in Brief
Baby planets growing in a disk of gas and dust around an infant star have been identified and weighed for the first time. In papers published June 13 in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, two teams of astronomers describe a new technique to observe the newborn planets with unprecedented precision.
One team, led by Richard Teague of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, found two...
If you’re looking for starry skies, exotic plant life and extreme weather on your summer vacation, NASA’s Exoplanet Travel Bureau has just the spot. Consider a trip to Kepler 186f.
This extrasolar planet is nearly 558 light-years away, so a real trip may be out of your budget — and astronomers aren’t sure if the sphere even has a life-sustaining atmosphere. But NASA’s Exoplanet...
With a mortar and pestle, Christy Till blends together the makings of a distant planet. In her geology lab at Arizona State University in Tempe, Till carefully measures out powdered minerals, tips them into a metal capsule and bakes them in a high-pressure furnace that can reach close to 35,000 times Earth’s atmospheric pressure and 2,000° Celsius.
In this interplanetary test kitchen,...