Articles on Stars

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An artist’s illustration of Kappa Ceti whose stellar winds are 50 times stronger than our sun’s. Any Earth-like planet would need a magnetic field to protect its atmosphere if it was to stand a chance of hosting life. M. Weiss/CfA

What the ‘weather’ is like on a star can help in the search for life

In the search for life on other planets in the universe we need to find the right kind of star, and it needs to have the right kind of space weather.
Can a galaxy (like NGC 3810 in this case) have a classical spiral structure and also be already dead? ESA/Hubble and NASA

Is our Milky Way galaxy a zombie, already dead and we don’t know it?

Extragalactic astrophysicists want to know how and why galaxies stop forming stars, change their shape and fade away. With help from citizen scientists, they're figuring it out.
NASA artists’ interpretation of the neutron star Swift J1749.4-2807 (left) with it’s companion star (right). NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Explainer: what is a neutron star?

They're are the overachievers of the universe: incredibly dense but very small when compared to others stars. So how much do we know about the extreme behaviour of neutron stars?
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…

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