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.
From measurements of quasar spectra, we can determine whether or not the fine structure constant is really a constant.
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.
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.
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.
How do emission lines from nebulae affect broad-band photometry of high redshift galaxies?
How can we find the distant galaxies that were responsible for bringing us out of the cosmic dark ages?