38 results
view of Milky Way from ULAS J0744+25

Stellar Science

The Most Distant Milky Way Stars

Astronomers have discovered two stars that lie more than 700,000 light-years from Earth, making them the most distant stellar members of our galaxy ever detected. Blogger John Bochanski tells the story of how his team found these faraway stars.

solar sibling in Hercules

Stellar Science

Sun's Sibling Found

Astronomers have confirmed that a star in the constellation Hercules is a dead ringer for one of the Sun’s long-lost brothers.

closest stars to the Sun

Stellar Science

Meet the Sun's Chilly New Neighbor

Infrared observations have uncovered a cool brown dwarf that’s only about 7 light-years away. The object is one of the closest stellar systems to the Sun and the coolest brown dwarf yet discovered.

Stellar Science

New Cutoff for Star Sizes

Astronomers have found a size gap between stars that fuse hydrogen in their cores and so-called failed stars, which never muster the ability to sustain fusion. This boundary could help observers precisely identify the smallest stellar citizens.

Solar System

The Next New Meteor Shower

Astronomers confirm that debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR should create a sky show on May 24, 2014 — but it looks less likely that a “storm” is in the works.


Skinny Stars or Fat Planets?

New studies of the coolest brown dwarfs are helping astronomers explore the mysterious objects that bridge the gap between stars and planets.

Stellar Science

Sneaky Star Dating

How old are the Sun's stellar neighbors? An inventive approach suggests that the birth rate for the nearest stars has had two peaks instead of one — meaning two distinct generations are mixing in the neighborhood.


Trapping Alien Dust

New observations with the powerful ALMA observatory reveal a huge pile-up of dust around a young star. The result could help astronomers solve a long-standing mystery in planet formation.


One Gap, No Planets

There's a big gap in the dusty disk around the young star V1247 Orionis. Such a gap should be carved out by one or more planets, but astronomers can't find any.


Tiniest Exoplanet Around a Sunlike Star

The Kepler mission has discovered an exoplanet smaller than Mercury orbiting a Sun-like star.

Stellar Science

Stellar Senior Citizen

Astronomers have confirmed that the star HD 140283 is nearly as old as the universe.


Dead Stars: Good Exoplanet Targets?

White dwarfs can have stable habitable zones for a few billion years, and planets with Earth-like atmospheres might be much easier to detect around these stellar remnants than normal, hydrogen-fusing stars.


Making Planets Around Brown Dwarfs

Astronomers searching for forming planets have a new place to look. Even the thin disks around brown dwarfs are capable of forming grains large enough that, one day, they could potentially coalesce into a rocky planet.


Making Mini-Oort Clouds

A new set of simulations shows that systems with so-called "hot Jupiters" might also have mini-Oort clouds detectable by today's space telescopes, giving astronomers a new potential tool for finding exotic extrasolar systems.


A New Goldilocks Planet

Astronomers have found a system of six super-Earths, one of which is at the "Goldilocks" distance for sustaining liquid water. The Sun-like host of the system lies only 40 light-years away.


Fomalhaut b: An Exoplanet Redeemed

New analysis suggests that Fomalhaut b — an exoplanet discovered in 2008 and disputed ever since — really does exist.

Stellar Science

Auroras Grace Stellar Skies

Stunning auroras play in Earth's upper atmosphere, and similar cascading curtains grace the skies of giant planets, brown dwarfs — and even small stars.

Professional Telescopes

Four Mammoth Cameras Take On the Sky

The Dark Energy Camera is one of four new cameras that started taking images of big chunks of the night sky this past month.