Two Planets Orbit Nearby Ancient Star

Kapteyn's StarMain Points:

An international team of astronomers, including five Carnegie scientists, reports the discovery of two new planets orbiting a very old star that is near to our own Sun. One of these planets orbits the star at the right distance to allow liquid water to exist on its surface, a key ingredient to support life.

Published in:

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Study Further:

Kapteyn’s Star, named after the Dutch astronomer, Jacobus Kapteyn, who discovered it at the end of the 19th century, is the second fastest-moving star in the sky and belongs to the Galactic halo, an extended group of stars orbiting our Galaxy on very elliptical orbits. With a third of the mass of the Sun, this red-dwarf can be seen with an amateur telescope in the southern constellation of Pictor.

The astronomers–including Carnegie’s Pamela Arriagada, Paul Butler, Steve Shectman, Jeff Crane, and Ian Thompson–used new data from the HARPS spectrometer at the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla observatory, the Planet Finding Spectrometer at the Magellan/Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, and the HIRES spectrometer at the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii to measure tiny periodic changes in the motion of the star. The Doppler Effect enabled the scientists to deduce some properties of these planets, including their masses and orbital periods. Read More …

In astronomy, usually “the more we know, the more we know that we don’t know”

The galaxy 1-Zwicky18 is very similar in composition to galaxies which formed in the first billion years after the big bang (Source: NASA/Hubble)
The galaxy 1-Zwicky18 is very similar in composition to galaxies which formed in the first billion years after the big bang (Source: NASA/Hubble)

Main Points:

Astronomers have found that stars in the very beginning of universe used very little dust. This finding has enhanced the mysteriousness of the formation of very early stars. Read More …

An interactive presentation about the location of 32 nearby Stars

Interactive presentation of the location of the nearby stars

I have found an orthographic projection of 32 nearby stars and I thought you would like it too. These 32 stars are present within 14 light-years from the sun and presented by Krystian Majewski.

This presentation shows the stars in spectral color that may not be the actual color and many of the stars are dwarf stars.

You can find the list of the neighboring stars on Wikipedia here. You can also get the information about the star while moving the cursor over the dot.

You can find that interactive presentation here: http://kisd.de/~krystian/starmap/

Gaia mission will also detect the stars with a temperature less than 2500K

Artist's impression of Gaia and its scientific goals (Credit: ESA)
Artist’s impression of Gaia and its scientific goals (Credit: ESA)

European Space Agency (ESA) is planning to launch the Gaia mission by the end of 2013. That mission will study the ultra-cool dwarfs, which are the group of stars in the Milky Way, with a temperature below 2500K. They are among the most ancient celestial objects in our Galaxy and can help in the study of the most primitive chemical composition.

Actually the objectives of this astronomical study are “to create the largest and most precise three dimensional chart of our Galaxy by providing unprecedented positional and radial velocity measurements for about one billion stars in our Galaxy and throughout the Local Group.”

In a research paper, published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, researchers have designed a method allowing Gaia to detect tens of ultra-cool dwarfs in the Milky Way. They have also developed the method to detect the physical parameters such as the temperature and gravity with little errors. These accurate descriptions will also increase the number of detected ultra-cool dwarfs.

Gaia will provide about one petabyte of information that will be processed and analyzed to get the results. About 400 scientists will collaborate in the project.

Interesting online Interactive sites for Astronomy lovers

Astronomy quotation

Astronomy is really an interesting field as Horace Mann quoted, “”Astronomy is one of the sublimest fields of human investigation. The mind that grasps its facts and principles receives something of the enlargement and grandeur belonging to the science itself. It is a quickener of devotion.”

Here we have collected links to some of the interactive sites to study astronomy. Hopefully, you will like them. Read More …

Earliest stars were formed when the age of the Universe was…

Recently, scientists from MIT published a research paper in the journal Nature in which they showed their work of “Extremely metal-poor gas at a redshift of 7”. They utilized infrared spectrometer, which they placed onto the Magellan Telescope, a massive ground-based telescope in Chile. They calculated the elements and based on the observations about the heavy elements they believe that the earliest stars might have been formed 750 million years after the formation of Universe. quasar 3C 279. Image: European Southern Observatory “The first stars will form in different spots in the universe … it’s not like they flashed on at the same time,” Robert Simcoe, an associate professor of physics at MIT, said in a statement. “But this is the time that it starts getting interesting.” Read More …

Very much brighter explosion of stars have been detected far away in Universe; Research

Scientists have observed two ‘super-luminous’ supernovae in the distant universe. These supernovae have stellar explosions of 10 to 100 times brighter than other types of supernova.

This research has been led by Swinburne University of Technology astrophysicist Dr Jeffrey Cooke and published online in the journal Nature.

Simulation of  super-luminous supernova (Credit: Adrian Malec and Marie Martig (Swinburne University))

Read More …