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Detonating white dwarfs as supernovae

5 October 2016 Astronomy Now

A new mathematical model created by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History details a way that dead stars called white dwarfs could detonate, producing a type of explosion that is instrumental to measuring the extreme distances in our universe. The mechanism could improve our understanding of how Type Ia supernovae form.

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Proof that some galaxies are LIERs

11 January 2016 Astronomy Now

You might think that astronomers could easily tell the difference between a black hole and a white dwarf — but nature can be deceptive. Astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) have just announced the results of a new study that reveals the true origin of puzzling light from nearby galaxies.

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Accretion process same for growth of stars and black holes

19 October 2015 Astronomy Now

One of the most important but least understood processes in astronomy is accretion, where the mass of an object grows by gravitationally collecting material from nearby. Now an international team has discovered that that the process by which astronomical objects grow is fundamentally the same, regardless of the type, mass or size of the object.

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Vagabond supernovae flung into space by binary black-hole slingshots?

16 August 2015 Astronomy Now

A new analysis of 13 supernovae — including archived data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope — is helping astronomers explain how some young stars exploded sooner than expected, hurling them to a lonely place far from their host galaxies. It’s a complicated mystery of double-star systems, merging galaxies, and twin black holes.

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Hubble catches a stellar exodus in action

17 May 2015 Astronomy Now

Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have captured for the first time snapshots of fledgling white dwarf stars beginning their slow-paced, 40-million-year migration from the crowded centre of giant globular cluster 47 Tucanae to the less populated suburbs.