This tag is associated with 68 posts

A star with a fake ID?

Most binary stars probably formed at the same time, meaning all stars in the same system should have the same age. The authors of this paper analyze a stellar binary system where one star appears to be lying about its age, as one star appears 3 billion years older than its companion.

Flipping Orbits

How do so many hot jupiters come to orbit backwards?

AAS Astronomy Ambassadors and You

Graduate student Meredith Rawls tells us about the AAS Ambassadors program and her experience as part of the inaugural class of Astronomy Ambassadors. The application deadline for this year’s class is coming up on Oct. 18th.

The (not so) Sordid History of the Small Magellanic Cloud

The authors of today’s paper find out just what kind of star formation history lies in the Milky Way’s next meal: The Small Magellanic Cloud. After all, they say you are what you eat.

The actual transit is not shown, as its depth would overwhelm much of the structure in the out-of-transit light curve.

Characterizing Planets with BEER

Faigler et al. apply their BEER algorithm to a collection of stars in the Kepler field and find a hot Jupiter missed by the Kepler Science Team, showing a new way to find and characterize planets without follow-up observations.

The Whirlpool Galaxy Like You’ve Never Seen it Before

It’s big, it’s active, and it’s only 20 million lightyears away– it is the Whirlpool galaxy, and astronomers are getting a brand new view. Using the Plateau de Bure interferometer, this paper examines the gas in this nearby grand-design spiral galaxy on arcsecond scales, resolving for the first time its individual molecular clouds. What does this tell us about star formation in this galaxy? Stay tuned!

Digging up “red nuggets” in local elliptical galaxies

Huang et al. dig up evidence that distant “red nugget” galaxies grew into the massive ellipticals we see today by consuming smaller, gas-poor galaxies.

AAS Summer meeting in Indianapolis: The abstract deadline is approaching!

Astrobites will be at the 222nd AAS meeting in Indianapolis, IN from June 2-6, 2013! Will you? Although the regular abstract deadline has passed, you can still present a poster. The late deadline for the meeting is coming up soon:¬†April 18 at 9:00 pm ET. Also, the regular registration deadline is even sooner:¬†April 11. After […]

Going Big with LOFAR

Check out these cool new results from LOFAR which is boldly going to some of the longest wavelengths astronomers have ever observed! An active galaxy has a less active past than we might expect, pulsating neutron stars are behaving strangely, and even at wavelengths as long as meters, there are still spectral lines from extremely low-energy atomic transitions.

Figure 3: formaldehyde maps

The Hot, Irradiated Center of our Milky Way

Unlike its candy bar namesake, the center of our Milky Way Galaxy is not actually a very pleasant place to be. There’s a supermassive central black hole to deal with, intense radiation from a population of massive stars, and hot clouds of molecular gas. In this paper, the authors use observations of three molecular spectral lines to measure the temperatures of these gas clouds in the center of the Galaxy, and find that the processes heating the clouds may not be what you expect!

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