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The nearly circular orbits in our solar system, not drawn to scale.

How Weird Is Our Solar System?

Earth and its Solar System compatriots all have nearly circular orbits, but many exoplanets orbit their stars on wildly eccentric paths. Is our home system strange? Or is our sense of the data skewed?

New detections of exoplanet HD 95086 b with the Gemini Planet Imager

HD 95086 b is one of the first exoplanets directly imaged with the newly commissioned instrument Gemini Planet Imager. This is only the first in what is likely to be a long line of exciting results coming from this state of the art instrument.

Hot Jupiters and Their Effects on Host Stars

Hot Jupiters offer an interesting mechanism for affecting the rotation and magnetic activity levels of their host stars.

Arecibo Detects a Fast Radio Burst

A mysterious Fast Radio Burst (FRB) from beyond the galaxy has been detected at Arecibo. This is the first FRB discovered outside of Parkes Observatory, giving greater credence to the astronomical nature of these signals.

Crowd-Sourcing Crater Identification

How good are citizen-scientists at characterizing crater densities and size distributions on the lunar surface? For that matter how good are the experts? Today’s study attempts to answer these questions by having a group of experts analyze images of the Moon from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera.

A Faint Black Hole?

The authors report the discovery of perhaps the faintest black hole x-ray binary. But this conclusion is limited by the uncertainty in the distance to the object.

Forming Stars in the Stream

Orbiting our galaxy are many smaller dwarf galaxies. As they orbit, some of these galaxies produce vast streams of gas that stretch around our Milky Way galaxy. Much of this gas still has the potential for forming stars. This astrobite will summarize a recent discovery of one of these stars.

Mugged by a Passing Star

A close encounter with another star can disrupt the protoplanetary disk of a young star, leaving a smaller disk behind. Can we learn anything about the encounter from the size of the remaining disk? Read on to find out!

Can planets and stars spin in unison?

The orbits of some recently discovered exoplanets seem to be synchronised with the rotation of their host stars. Can this mystery be explained?

http://arxiv.org/abs/1404.0680

Neutrinos from the Big Bang – in focus

Much like the Cosmic Microwave Background, the Cosmic Neutrino Background permeates our Universe and it could take us back to 1 second after the Big Bang. Today, we discuss the effect of the Sun on modulating the expected signal from the neutrino background.

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