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Astronomer solves mystery of ‘born again’ stars with Hubble

7 December 2015 Astronomy Now

University of Texas astronomer Natalie Gosnell has used the Hubble Space Telescope to better understand why some stars aren’t evolving as predicted. These so-called “blue stragglers” look hotter and bluer than they should for their advanced age. It’s almost as it they were somehow reinvigorated to look much younger than they really are.

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Zircon study questions dates for cataclysms on early Moon and Earth

18 October 2015 Astronomy Now

Phenomenally durable crystals called zircons are used to date some of the earliest and most dramatic cataclysms of the solar system, such as the late heavy bombardment that created hellish surface conditions on the young Earth and Moon about 4 billion years ago. Now a study of zircons from a gigantic meteorite impact in South Africa casts doubt on the methods used to date lunar impacts.