Articles on Stars

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A colour image of G63349, one of the galaxies in the survey, created using near-infrared (VISTA telescope) and optical (Sloan telescope) data collated by the GAMA survey. (The bright green object is a nearby star.) ICRAR/GAMA

Don’t panic, but the universe is slowly dying

Our universe's most exciting days are well behind us, with new research showing the universe is now slowly but surely dying.
Observations of the dusty cloud G2 as it approaches and then swings around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. ESO/A. Eckart

Young star theory forged from a near miss with a giant black hole

The best observations yet of a mysterious gas cloud that was heading for the black hole at the hear of our Milky Way reveal it may have more stellar origins.
Spot the biggest. Rutherford Observatory

How big is the biggest star we have ever found?

The universe is such a big place that it is easy to get baffled by the measurements that astronomers make. The size of UY Scuti, possibly one of the largest stars we have observed to date, is certainly…
Artist’s impression of exocomets around Beta Pictoris. ESO/L. Calçada

Comet families similar to our own are found around another star

A detailed study of comets orbiting the young nearby star Beta Pictoris is published today in the journal Nature, and it reveals striking similarities to the comets found in our solar system. Over the…
The dawn of a new day. Flickr/Christos Tsoumplekas

Explainer: how does our sun shine?

What makes our sun shine has been a mystery for most of human history. Given our sun is a star and stars are suns, explaining the source of the sun’s energy would help us understand why stars shine. An…
Cilcik on the image to learn how stars are made. Picture: NASA.

VIDEO: What are stars?

How are stars formed? What are they made of? And what happens to them when they die? In this week’s TCTV, astrophysicist Akila Jeeson-Daniel explains the physics behind the balls of gas that light up the…
The oldest star is out there somewhere. But which one is it? www.shutterstock.com

The oldest star in the universe? Maybe, maybe not!

There is a myth that goldfish have a three-second memory, and I sometimes wonder if the same is true about the part of the human mind that deals with science in the news. This week, the international media…
What’s going on up there? VinothChandar

Why is the sun going quiet?

The sun is our nearest star and the source of all our light and heat on Earth but recent reports have highlighted an ongoing steep decline in solar activity. This story is a reminder that our sun is a…
It may not look like much from here, but Nova Centauri 2013 - visible for the next few days - is a nuclear explosion on a dead star. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Centre

Up in the sky: it’s a nuclear explosion!

If you live in the southern hemisphere, you now can safely view the aftermath of a nuclear explosion from the comfort of your own backyard. Just last week a new “star”, Nova Centauri 2013, was discovered…
The delicate twinkling stars in the night sky are actually fusion-fuelled balls of gas. Adam Foster | Codefor

Explainer: what are stars?

Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. If we look up at the sky at night, we see millions of tiny diamond-like stars. These are actually balls of plasma (very hot gas) consisting of…

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