white dwarfs

Small, but full of life?

UCLA-led team uses Keck Telescope to discover object in the constellation Boötes with carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen Many scientists believe the Earth was dry when it first formed, and that the building blocks for…


Limestone crumbs, you said?

A group of researchers using the W. M. Keck Observatory have discovered a planet-like body that may have been encrusted in limestone and is having its surface layers devoured by its deceased host star. In…


At the cradle

About 13 billion years ago, long before our sun formed, the construction of our Milky Way galaxy was just beginning. Young, mostly sun-like stars in the core, or central bulge, provided the building blocks for…


A lack of good manners between mother and son

Scientists using NASA’s repurposed Kepler space telescope, known as the K2 mission, have uncovered strong evidence of a tiny, rocky object being torn apart as it spirals around a white dwarf star. This discovery validates…


A .1a supernova on the way?

In the middle of the twentieth century, an unusual star was spotted in the constellation of Canes Venatici (Latin for “hunting dogs”). Years later, astronomers determined that this object, dubbed AM Canum Venaticorum (or, AM…


Kepler looking at something smaller?

Kepler may not be hanging up its planet-hunting hat just yet. Even though two of its four reaction wheels — which are crucial to long-duration observations of distant stars — are no longer operating, it…


Pollution, a new definition

he NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has found signs of Earth-like planets in an unlikely place: the atmospheres of a pair of burnt-out stars in a nearby star cluster. The white dwarf stars are being polluted…