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.
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.