Two Stars On A Death Spiral Set To Detonate As A Supernova

Two white dwarfs circle around one other, locked in a fatal tango. With an intimate orbit and a hefty combined mass, the pair is ultimately destined to collide, merge, and erupt in a titanic explosion: a Type Ia supernova. Or so goes the theory behind the infamous “standard candles” of cosmology. Now, in a paper published in today’s issue of […]

Have Astronomers Seen a Forming Planet in Action?

Huge disks of dust and gas encircle many young stars. Some contain circular gaps — likely the result of forming planets carving out cavities along their orbital paths — that make the disks look more like ripples in a pond than flat pancakes. But astronomers know only a few examples, including the archetypal disk surrounding Beta […]

Have Astronomers Seen a Forming Planet in Action?

Huge disks of dust and gas encircle many young stars. Some contain circular gaps — likely the result of forming planets carving out cavities along their orbital paths — that make the disks look more like ripples in a pond than flat pancakes. But astronomers know only a few examples, including the archetypal disk surrounding Beta […]

Rosetta’s Cloudy Comet Shroud Spotted From The Ground, While Spacecraft Picks Up Dust Grains

This picture shows it is possible to look at Rosetta’s comet from Earth, but what a lot of work it requires! The picture you see above is a composite of 40 separate images taken by the Very Large Telescope (removing the background stars). Despite the fact that Rosetta is right next to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, ground-based […]

Amazing Video Timelapse Of Big Telescopes At Work In Chile

What’s it like to spend a night at a huge telescope observatory? Jordi Busque recorded a brilliant timelapse of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). What makes this video unique is not only the exotic location in Chile, but the use of sound in the area rather than music. […]

Amazing Video Timelapse Of Big Telescopes At Work In Chile

What’s it like to spend a night at a huge telescope observatory? Jordi Busque recorded a brilliant timelapse of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). What makes this video unique is not only the exotic location in Chile, but the use of sound in the area rather than music. […]