News

Close encounters of a tidal kind could lead to cracks on icy moons

26 May 2016 Astronomy Now

A new model developed by University of Rochester researchers could offer an explanation as to how cracks on icy moons, such as Pluto’s Charon, formed. Until now, it was thought that the cracks were the result of geodynamical processes, such as plate tectonics, but computer simulations suggest that a close encounter with another body might have been the cause.

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A new way to determine the age of stars?

24 March 2016 Astronomy Now

Researchers have developed a new conceptual framework for understanding how stars similar to our Sun evolve. Their framework helps explain how the rotation of stars, their emission of X-rays, and the intensity of their stellar winds vary with time. Their work could ultimately help to determine the age of stars more precisely than is currently possible.

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Sun’s close encounter with Scholz’s Star

18 February 2015 Astronomy Now

Astronomers using large telescopes in South Africa and Chile identify the closest known flyby of a star to our Solar System: a low-mass star system nicknamed “Scholz’s Star” that passed through the Oort Cloud 70,000 years ago.