Kepler Observes White Dwarf Star Disintegrating Its Planet(s)

An artist’s concept of a minor planet being disintegrated by a white dwarf star. New observations by NASA’s Kepler space telescope have indicated that this indeed takes place around WD 1145+017, a white dwarf located 570 light-years away. Image Credit: CfA/Mark A. Garlick

One of the wonderful things of living in a galaxy populated […]

Astronomers Determine Progenitors of Supernova Explosions More Varied Than Thought

Computer-generated image of a Type Ia supernova explosion. New research has provided important insights about the progenitor stars of these cataclysmic cosmic events. Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Dana Berry

Type Ia supernova explosions can be considered as some of the Universe’s most spectacular and inviting attractions, signifying the death of very massive stars. With peak luminosities […]

NASA Space Telescope Sees Possible X-Ray 'Screams' From Zombie Stars

Illustration showing the central region of our galaxy as seen by NuSTAR (magenta circle). The smaller circle shows where the image was taken. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

It sounds like something from a bad sci-fi movie, but a NASA space telescope has detected what might be the X-ray “screams” from dead (zombie) stars. The Nuclear […]

Where's the Kaboom? Astronomers Detect No X-Ray Emission From Recent Supernova Explosion

The supernova SN 2014J, as imaged by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This image contains Chandra data, where low-, medium-, and high-energy X-rays are red, green, and blue respectively. The boxes in the bottom of the image show close-up views of the region around the supernova in data taken prior to the explosion (left), as […]

The Improbable Case of the High-Energy Novae: NASA's Fermi Space Telescope Detects New Gamma Ray Sources

Novae typically originate in binary systems containing Sun-like stars, as shown in this artist’s rendering. NASA’s Fermi Space Telescope discovered that a nova in a system like this likely produces gamma rays (magenta) through collisions among multiple shock waves in the rapidly expanding shell of debris. Image Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/S. Wiessinger


Planets Orbiting Dying Stars Are Probably Dead Too

Planets orbiting white dwarf or brown dwarf stars may not be good candidates for life, a new study shows. Image Credit: NASA / S. Charbinet

If you are searching for other inhabited worlds, almost any kind of star may do according to current findings, except perhaps for white dwarfs. As it turns out, planets […]