Twelve thousand light-years from Earth, a star is forming. At first, it had all the marks of an aging star on its way to death. But new evidence published in the Astrophysical Journal shows that the star known as IRAS 19312+1950 is likely a protostar, wrapping its surrounding cloud of dust and ice closer as it coalesces.
NASA’s Kepler space telescope is a trooper. Even with a broken positioning system, the telescope just discovered 104 new planets, including four Earth-like planets in the same solar system.
A study published this week in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series describes the largest haul of planets so far during K2, Kepler’s second mission. Kepler was originally designed to look at a very tiny area of space, but it was repurposed to look at a wider area when part of its positioning system broke in 2013.
Astrophysicists have released images of the largest swath of the deep universe ever observed. The images gaze 13 billion years back in time and cover an area of the sky four times the size of the full moon.
Omar Almaini, at the University of Nottingham, and colleagues netted infrared observations of 250,000 galaxies, the earliest less than a billion years after the Big Bang. The farther away from Earth you look in the universe, the farther back in time you see.