Are you on the lookout to see if there are habitable planets are out there? Or do you want to see how or if physical ‘constants’ have varied with time? Why not design a versatile instrument capable at tackling a wealth of outstanding questions in astronomy: a sort of a “scientific pandora’s box” for extremely high precision astronomical research? This is where ESPRESSO comes in…
Astronomers use models to derive properties of individual stars that we cannot directly observe, such as mass, age, and radius. This is also the case for a group of stars (a galaxy or a star cluster). One problem with current stellar population models is that they remain untested for old populations of stars. The authors of this paper devise a new way to test models of old stellar populations.
Sometimes, stellar evolution happens on more human timescales—tens to hundreds of years rather than millions or billions.
The authors break in the new Gemini Planet Imager with spectroscopy of the well-studied but not yet well-explained exoplanets HR 8799 c and d.
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.
Spectra from the light echoes of distant supernovae can be used to probe the three dimensional structure of these massive and poorly-understood explosions.
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.
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.
Tune in now for the first extrasolar weather map of a nearby brown dwarf, made using Doppler imaging.
The Crab Nebula ups its game when it’s found to host the first molecule containing a noble gas to be found in space.