Instead of happily orbiting in circles with constant velocity, the two stars spend most of their time far apart, and a few harrowing hours racing past each other. Or, to put it another way: hours and hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror. This is a heartbeat star.
Cosmic rays hit the Earth and produce showers of particles that can be detected on the ground. Understanding where these cosmic rays come from can help scientists pin down their sources and construct models for the magnetic field in our neighborhood.
The authors use a deep survey to locate rare galaxies which were among the earliest to form.
Herschel provides an updated look at the debris disk in the popular planetary system, Tau Ceti.
This white dwarf is surrounded by a debris disk. What formed the disk, and what’s destroying it now?
Of all the kinds of planets we’re finding around other stars—hot Jupiters and mini-Neptunes and those dubiously called “Earth-like”—super-Earths orbiting close to their stars are among the most abundant. While planets so close to their stars are poor candidates for habitability, they are important to understanding the possibility of other habitable planets in these seemingly common systems.
Neutron stars can provide insights into extreme and exotic states of matter.