This tag is associated with 66 posts

Searching for Life via Exoplanet Smog

Today’s paper proposes a detection method for technologically advanced life that goes beyond the usual SETI signals: looking at exoplanet atmospheres not just for the presence of life in general, but for the chemical signatures of intelligent life.

The Echoes of a Supernova

Spectra from the light echoes of distant supernovae can be used to probe the three dimensional structure of these massive and poorly-understood explosions.

Engineering at the SOAR Telescope in Chile

I recently participated in an engineering trip to the SOAR Telescope in Chile, where I helped with numerous maintenance and upgrades for the Goodman Spectrograph.

Spots and Tantrums: A Moody X-ray Binary

What do you call two stars hurtling around each other with bursts of X-rays every few decades? An X-ray transient, of course! This special flavor of X-ray binary features a neutron star or black hole together with a low-mass star.

Cloudy with a chance of Carbon Monoxide

Tune in now for the first extrasolar weather map of a nearby brown dwarf, made using Doppler imaging.

The Noble Crab

The Crab Nebula ups its game when it’s found to host the first molecule containing a noble gas to be found in space.

Constraining fine-structure constant variations using QSOs

From measurements of quasar spectra, we can determine whether or not the fine structure constant is really a constant.

Pinpointing Stellar Properties with Bayesian Statistics

The link between a pile of data and a physical explanation is the fun part. Astronomers spend countless hours gathering data, and countless more thinking up physical models for different pieces of the Universe. But reconciling these two things—finding a model that not only agrees with observations, but is the sole likely explanation—isn’t easy.

Water found in remains of planetary system around a white dwarf

Astronomers have found evidence of water in the remains of a planetary system around a white dwarf. This indicates water-rich asteroids can bring water to terrestrial planets, important for the habitability of planets.

How Massive is Kappa Andromedae B?

A “Super-Jupiter” recently discovered by direct imaging techniques may not be as it initially seemed. Hinkley et al. find the system to be older than expected and the Super-Jupiter to really be a brown dwarf.

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