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Recent Activity

Stellar News Feed

Gaia Data Release 1. Summary of the astrometric, photometric, and survey properties

At about 1000 days after the launch of Gaia we present the first Gaia data release, Gaia DR1, consisting of astrometry and photometry for over 1 billion sources brighter than magnitude 20.7. We summarize Gaia DR1 and provide illustrations of the scientific quality of the data, followed by a discussion of the limitations due to the preliminary nature of this release.

Read the pre-print on arXiv

Astronomers observe star reborn in a flash

An international team of astronomers using Hubble have been able to study stellar evolution in real time. Over a period of 30 years dramatic increases in the temperature of the star SAO 244567 have been observed. Now the star is cooling again, having been reborn into an earlier phase of stellar evolution. This makes it the first reborn star to have been observed during both the heating and cooling stages of rebirth.

Not Your Typical Protostar

At the centre of this image, captured by ESA’s Herschel space observatory, is a truly peculiar cosmic object: a star named IRAS 19312+1950.

Located over 12 000 light-years from us, this star has puzzled astronomers for many years because it shows conflicting signs of being both extremely old and extremely young.

Exploring the Birth of Binary Stars

More than half of all stars are thought to be in binary or multiple star systems. But how do these systems form? The misaligned spins of some binary protostars might provide a clue.

Read the full story on AAS Nova

Amateurs Aid in Discovery of Pulsing White Dwarf

Amateur astronomers have long kept an eye on AR Sco, thinking they were watching the flickering of a single variable star. But when they took more detailed observations last year, they saw entirely unexpected behavior and began a fruitful collaboration with professional astronomers to find out the answer.

Read the full story at Sky & Telescope

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