stars

Sirius A and B pinned down

Sometimes important astronomical advances require the newest and fanciest observatories and technologies — but sometimes they just require decades of work and a lot of patience. Patience is finally paying off for a team of…


One smoggy starry morning

Apparently, pollution isn’t strictly an Earth problem. Astronomers in Russia have discovered a star system boasting an atmosphere polluted by heavy elements, including calcium. The binary solar-type star system was formed from the leftover stellar…


Spooky Action at a distance still not spooky

A version of an iconic experiment to confirm quantum theory has for the first time used the light of distant stars to bolster the case for a phenomenon that Albert Einstein referred to as “spooky…


Milky Way’s Cosmic Capers

The 11 farthest known stars in our galaxy are located about 300,000 light-years from Earth, well outside the Milky Way’s spiral disk. New research by Harvard astronomers shows that half of those stars might have…


A whirligigging superstar in the making

If Lawrence Molnar (Calvin College) and his colleagues are correct, the two stars in the binary KIC 9832227 are about to merge. Stellar mergers are not a new idea. Astronomers suspect they happen in densely…


Betelgeuse was hungry (hundred thousand years ago)

Astronomer J. Craig Wheeler of The University of Texas at Austin thinks that Betelgeuse, the bright red star marking the shoulder of Orion, the hunter, may have had a past that is more interesting than…


(New) Star Storm

Scientists on board NASA’s flying telescope, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, caught sight of roiling material streaming from a newly formed star, which could spark the birth of a new generation of…