Astronomical Theories Totally Wrong and Upside Down
January 12, 2018
From the planetary scale to the cosmic scale, astronomers are throwing away textbooks.
Entropy in Space Seen at All Scales
October 22, 2015
Entropy at all scales: clearly seen. Creation of order: not so much.
Stellar Dust Disks Crumble
March 31, 2014
Observations show stellar dust disks fragmenting into smaller dust, not growing into planets.
Supernova Dating and Classification Is Not Simple
September 30, 2012
Bang! goes a star. Watch how fast its contents move, and you know the date, right? Watch its light curve, and you know the type, right?
Observations Upset Models of Stellar Evolution
December 22, 2011
Stellar evolution models go back decades. Ever since the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram came out in 1910 (graphing temperature against luminosity), showing most stars fell on a line called the “main sequence”, astrophysicists have sought to understand the life cycle of stars from birth to death. In general, the story goes, collapsing clouds of gas and dust produce main-sequence stars that burn nuclear fuel till they run out. Depending on their masses, they end up as supernovae, red giants or slowly-cooling cinders. While red dwarfs cool down slowly into the darkness, supernovae and red giants eject mass outward into space . Two new planets found close to a red giant are among new headaches for theorists.
Lucky in the Sky with Diamonds
August 25, 2011
There are treasures all around us we do not perceive. Sometimes we speak figuratively about sparkling gems that are, if we realized it, literally real, right there under our noses. Children sing, “Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are, up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky” without knowing that there really are diamond stars up there, with diamond planets, so magnificent and huge they are unfathomable in value. These are actual discoveries that have been announced by scientists this week.