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Mellow Yellow

In Stars by Brian Koberlein0 Comments

A new paper in Astronomy and Astrophysics heralds the discovery of a yellow hypergiant star known as HR 5171. Such stars are exceedingly rare, with only 12 such stars known to exist within our galaxy.

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Out of Beta

In Stars by Brian Koberlein0 Comments

Observations from the ALMA telescope array has made some interesting observations of carbon monoxide in the vicinity of the star Beta Pictoris. The results have been published recently in Science, and it tells an interesting story about comets and planetary formation.

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Centrifuge

In Stars by Brian Koberlein0 Comments

IRAS 04368+2557 is a protostar about 450 light years from us. It is a particularly young protostar, at about 300,000 years. Because of its age and proximity, it provides an excellent opportunity to study the early stages of stellar and planetary formation.

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Second Generation

In Stars by Brian Koberlein2 Comments

A new star has been discovered that was born from the very first stars of the universe. We can identify it by its particularly low metallicity.

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Speed!

In Stars by Brian Koberlein0 Comments

New hypervelocity stars have been discovered. We’ve discovered fast moving stars before, but these are different because they aren’t coming from the center of our galaxy. They are a bit of a mystery, because we aren’t entirely sure how that could gain such high speeds.

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Superhump

In Stars by Brian Koberlein0 Comments

What’s a superhump? And what has it got to do with astronomy? It all has to do with binary stars. Specifically a binary system where one of the stars (usually a white dwarf) is capturing material from the other.

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Destiny

In Stars by Brian Koberlein0 Comments

The evolution of a star depends mainly upon its mass. There are other factors such as metallicity that can affect a star’s evolution, but the main factor is mass. It is the mass of a star that determines its destiny.

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Going Virial

In Stars by Brian Koberlein0 Comments

The virial theorem is a theorem that states the average kinetic energy of a star is about half its gravitational potential energy in a cluster. We can use this theorem to determine the mass of star clusters.

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Cepheid Variables

In Stars by Brian Koberlein1 Comment

There are stars known as Cepheid variables that change in brightness over time. The rate at which their brightness varies is proportional to their brightness, which allows us to determine the distance to galaxies millions of light years away.