Monthly Archives: May 2014
A Record Among Exoplanets: A Gas Giant GU Psc b Is Around 2,000 Times The Earth-Sun Distance From Its StarMay 15, 2014 | Editors
An international team led by University of Montreal researchers has discovered and photographed a new planet 155 light-years from our solar system.
Sure, the oceans are huge and mountains are impressively big. And 7 billion people are a lot of humans, but still. As we all live on planet Earth (with a diameter of 12,742km), it is easily forgotten how incredible tiny we all actually are.
Called “failed stars,” brown dwarfs form with insufficient mass to fuse hydrogen into helium in their cores — a process that defines a star. But these objects aren’t planets either. Instead, brown dwarfs bridge the gap between stars and planets and have masses at least 14 but no more than 80 times that of Jupiter.
Ok, so I have gamma ray bursts on the brain at the minute, which isn’t unexpected after reading about them for a week. Besides, frankly, they’re so damn fascinating! Seriously, the most dramatically powerful events in the known Universe, and we still don’t know precisely what causes them. Just… fascinating. So to let some of this escape from my brain, here’s 5 things about GRBs which may interest you…
Scientists have discovered a rapidly spinning neutron star with an unconventional living arrangement. This pulsar cohabitates with two white dwarfs, and the three are smashed together in a space smaller than Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The system is gravitationally extreme, with the three members all tugging on one another.
The Moon is humanity’s nearest companion in our travels in space and the only celestial body that we have had the chance to actually visit. Still, despite its relative closeness and familiarity, our satellite continues to hold many interesting secrets. From its scientific strangeness to the many ways it affects our lives, the Moon is a mystery that is definitely worth a closer look.
Stars like the sun may end up alone but they are born in stellar nurseries, with a thousand — or a hundred thousand — siblings. Over time, the family disbands, victims of gravitational nudges and other tidings after 4.5 billion years of life in the cosmos.
Astronomers have found more than 1000 planets beyond our solar system, and thousands more await confirmation by follow-up observations. Many of these alien worlds are too hot or too cold to support life as we know it, but researchers have found a few that appear to be much more hospitable. So, Here’s a brief rundown of the best candidates.