How do pulsating stars give away their secret identities as binary dance partners? In this paper, the authors demonstrate a new way to not only detect binaries we may have missed in the Kepler data, but also to measure their velocities without spectra.
Hot Jupiters offer an interesting mechanism for affecting the rotation and magnetic activity levels of their host stars.
We have repeatedly seen how Kepler goes above and beyond its original mission of finding exoplanets. Today’s paper is no exception.
Enter the observed oddball: a subdwarf B (sdB) star. These unexpected stars are fusing helium into carbon and oxygen in their core and only have a thin hydrogen envelope. So, where did the hydrogen go?
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.
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.
Today we take a look back to 1916, when distances were measured in light years and uncertainties weren’t to be included in publications. The nearly 100-year old discovery of a small star has large implications for our understanding of stellar astrophysics, even today.
Depending on how they scatter with nuclei, dark matter particles might affect the structure and evolution of our Sun.
Our Solar System is pretty straightforward. Roughly speaking, all the planets orbit in the same plane, most spin on their axes in the same direction in that plane, and even the Sun rotates in a manner consistent with all this. The small, rocky planets are closer to the Sun, and the big, gaseous planets are farther from the Sun. Simple. Now that we are finding planets orbiting other stars, many are turning out to be multiplanet systems like our own Solar System.
Herschel observations reveal that debris disks are aligned with their stars’ equators, unlike some close-in transiting exoplanets.