It turns out, like us, stars slow down in their old age.
That observation is the key to a new method astronomers are using to accurately tell the age of cool stars — stars that match the size of, or are smaller than, our own sun. In a study published Monday in the journal Nature, a U.S. team claims it can estimate the age of these stars to within 10 percent by measuring how fast the star is spinning. Continue reading
If a tractor full of confetti was launched into the night sky and then beamed with a strobe light, it might look something like the Hubble Space Telescope image above. It is, according to NASA, among the most colorful of … Continue reading
New data from the Kepler Spacecraft shows one in five of the sun-like stars in the universe have Earth-size planets. The potential for habitable planets has fueled excitement in the search for intelligent life. Jeffrey Brown speaks to one of the lead researchers, Geoff Marcy of the University of California, Berkeley. Continue reading
From a gigantic rainbow serpent fashioned out of recycled jerry cans to a painting of girls dancing against a Milky Way backdrop, the Smithsonian’s “African Cosmos: Stellar Arts” exhibit examines how African artists through time have looked to the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars for inspiration. Continue reading
With the space shuttle era now over and U.S. space flight on the verge of going private for the near future, the company behind the so-called SpaceX project has ambitious plans to make space flight cheaper for cargo and for humans, with a bold idea to send millions of people to Mars. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports. Continue reading
After a thousand days in space, the Infrared Array Camera on the Spitzer Space Telescope has sent back thousands of images of stars being born, space “tornadoes” and galaxies at the edge of the universe. To commemorate its voyage, the program has published ten of its favorite pictures that have come back from the telescope. Continue reading