AAS Nova 28 Sep 2021, 16:00 UTC Typically thought of as stars that didn’t quite make it, brown dwarfs are a class of object without enough mass to undergo hydrogen fusion like other main-sequence stars, but heavy enough to fuse deuterium, differentiating them from their gas giant planet cousins. With faint spectra and complex evolutionary tracks, uncovering the properties of a brown dwarf can be much more challenging than your typical star or planet, particularly if the brown dwarf does not have a companion to help determine its age and mass.
Starts With a Bang! 27 Sep 2021, 14:03 UTC Even with all the recent impacts we’ve seen, it might be more “foe” than “friend” to us.
Universe Today 26 Sep 2021, 23:26 UTC The search for planets beyond our Solar System has grown immensely during the past few decades. To date, 4,521 extrasolar planets have been confirmed in 3,353 systems, with an additional 7,761 candidates awaiting confirmation. With so many distant worlds available for study (and improved instruments and methods), the process of exoplanet studies has been slowly transitioning away from discovery towards characterization. For example, a team of international scientists recently showed how combining data from multiple observatories allowed them to reveal the structure and composition of an exoplanet’s upper atmosphere. The exoplanet in question is WASP-127b, a “hot Saturn” that orbits a Sun-like star located about 525 light-years away. These findings preview how astronomers will characterize exoplanet atmospheres and determine if they are conducive to life as we know it. The research paper that describes their findings appeared in the December 2020 issue of Astronomy and Astrophysics. It was also the subject of a presentation made during the recent Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) 2021, a virtual conference from September 13th to 24th, 2021. During the presentation, lead author Dr. Romain Allart showed how combining data from space-based, and ground-based telescopes detected clouds in WASP-127b’s upper atmosphere and measured their altitudes with ...
Centauri Dreams 24 Sep 2021, 16:23 UTC A ‘hot Saturn’ with a difference, that’s WASP-127b. Although it’s 525 light years away, we’ve learned a surprising amount about the planet’s atmosphere. Details come via the ongoing Europlanet Science Congress 2021, now being held virtually for pandemic reasons, at which Romain Allart (iREx/Université de Montréal and Université de Genève) spoke this week.
ESO Blog 24 Sep 2021, 10:00 UTC As Carl Sagan put it, “we are all made of star stuff”. But what is the star stuff made up of? A team of astronomers has recently measured for the very first time the composition of the gas flowing between the stars in the Milky Way. The research, which used archive data from ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) and Hubble Space Telescope observations, reveals that this “interstellar medium” is not well mixed, as previously assumed. Instead, different amounts of chemical elements are spread in different areas much like a swirl of milk in a cup of coffee. The star stuff that we are made of is not well stirred in our galactic neighbourhood, but why?