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Interstellar
Separate B, V, and I ratio images taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys support the notion that the inner warp surrounding the nearby star Beta Pictoris is a secondary dust disk, distinct from the main outer dust disk and inclined from it by roughly 4 to 5 degrees. Credit: NASA, ESA and D. Golimowski (Johns Hopkins University)
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01/14/09
Intersecting Disks Schematic Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)
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This Hubble Space Telescope view of Beta Pictoris clearly shows a primary dust disk and a much fainter secondary dust disk. The secondary disk extends at least 24 billion miles from the star and is tilted roughly 4 to 5 degrees from the primary disk. The secondary disk is circumstantial evidence for the existence of a planet in a similarly inclined orbit. The planet may have indirectly formed the secondary disk by sweeping up smaller planetesimals –“ chunks of rock and/or ice –“ from the main disk. The planetesimals then collide, producing the dust seen in the disk. The image, taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), is the sharpest visible-light view of the disks around Beta Pictoris. Credit: Credit: NASA, ESA, D. Golimowski (Johns Hopkins University), D. Ardila (IPAC), J. Krist (JPL), M. Clampin (GSFC), H. Ford (JHU), and G. Illingworth (UCO/Lick) and the ACS Science Team
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The orbiting starshade would block light from parent stars, allowing researchers to image light from distant planets filtered between the starshade petals and perhaps detect signs of life. Credit: CU Boulder
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01/14/09
The ring nebula (M57), a planetary nebula in the constellation Lyra, was once a red giant that may have ended its life as a Mira variable, during which stage it gradually blew off its outer layers. Credit: Bob Goodrich, Mike Bolte, and the ESI team. (W. M. Keck Observatory)
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01/14/09

Aerial view of the recently decommissioned IOTA array atop Mt. Hopkins in Arizona. Credit: IOTA/CfA
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01/14/09
This set of artist's illustrations demonstrates how a dusty planet-forming disk can slow down a whirling young star, essentially saving the star from spinning itself to death. Evidence for this phenomenon comes from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Credit: NASA/JPL - Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC)
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01/14/09
This artist's concept shows a dusty planet-forming disk in orbit around a whirling young star. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope found evidence that disks like this one can slow their stars down, which prevents the stars from spinning themselves to death. Credit: NASA/JPL - Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC)
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01/14/09
This artist's concept shows a dusty planet-forming disk in orbit around a whirling young star. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope found evidence that disks like this one can slow their stars down, which prevents the stars from spinning themselves to death. Credit: NASA/JPL - Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC)
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01/14/09
Near-infrared image of the system Oph 162225-240515AB, obtained with ISAAC on ESO's Very Large Telescope. North is up and East is to the left. The apparent separation is less than 2 arcseconds, corresponding to 242 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun (242 astronomical units) at the distance of the system, 400 light-years. Credit: ESO
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01/14/09

This is an artist's impression of what a twin planemo system might look like. The two objects are still very young and are probably surrounded by a disc of material. For clarity, the image is not to scale to Oph 1622, the system just discovered as the size of the discs and the separation between the two objects would make them very tiny. Credit: ESO
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Artist's impression of twin planemo system. Credit: ESO
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01/14/09
Green Bank Telescope and Molecule Diagrams Credit: NRAO
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01/14/09
The Cosmic Chemistry Cycle
CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF
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01/14/09
The Cosmic Chemistry Cycle
CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF
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01/14/09

This is a Hubble Space Telescope view of a small region of our galaxy where the host star to a gravitationally lensed planet (catalogued as OGLE-2003-BLG-235L/ MOA-2003-BLG-53L) is located. The star is identified by the crosshatch at frame center. The planet was first identified in ground-based microlensing observations in July 2003. Gravitational microlensing happens when a foreground star-planet system slightly amplifies the light of a background star that momentarily aligns with it.
A blowup of the target (lower left) reveals the light of two stars: a foreground star and a background star superimposed on each other. The background star is the brighter, solar type star, and the foreground star is the fainter star. The motion of the foreground star, as it drifts past the more distant background star is apparent in the Hubble image taken in 2005, even though it is below Hubble's resolution. The light from each star is progressively more offset, year after year. This gives rise to a color difference effect because the foreground star turns out to be a different color from the background star. By observing the stars though a red and blue filter, astronomers were able to enhance the visibility of the offset. The relative offset is 0.7 milliarcseconds (the angular width of a dime seen 3,000 miles away) from the source star. The deduced positions of the two stars in 2005 are shown with red and blue crosshatches.
Credit: NASA, ESA, D. Bennett (University of Notre Dame), and J. Anderson (Rice University)
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In 2003, the foreground star-planet system slightly amplifies the light of a background star that momentarily aligns with it. This is called a microlensing event.

[right box]
The light from each star is progressively more offset year after year as the foreground star drifts by.

[bottom right box]
In 2005, Hubble Space Telescope observations distinguished the light from the two stars. This was possible because the foreground star turns out to be a different color from the background star. By observing the stars though a red and blue filter, astronomers were able to enhance the visibility of the offset. The relative offset is 0.7 milliarcseconds (the angular width of a dime seen 3,000 miles away) from the source star. (This is below Hubble's resolution, but still a measurable effect.) The deduced positions of the two stars in 2005 are shown with red and blue crosshatches.

Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Feild (STScI), D. Bennett (University of Notre Dame), and J. Anderson (Rice University)
Viewed: 1069 times
01/14/09
Portion of a Hubble Space Telescope view of a small region of our galaxy where the host star to a gravitationally lensed planet (catalogued as OGLE-2003-BLG-235L/ MOA-2003-BLG-53L) is located.
Credit: NASA, ESA, D. Bennett (University of Notre Dame), and J. Anderson (Rice University)
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01/14/09
Hubble Space telescope observed and identified the host star to a gravitationally lensed planet first discovered in 2003 by ground-based telescopes.

A foreground red star and planet drifts toward the sky position of a much farther sunlike background star.
Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Feild (STScI), D. Bennett (University of Notre Dame), and J. Anderson (Rice University)
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01/14/09
This is an artist's concept of the red dwarf star CHRX 73 (upper left) and its companion CHRX 73 B in the foreground (lower right) weighing in at 12 Jupiter masses. CHRX 73 B is one of the smallest companion objects ever seen around a normal star beyond our Sun. Credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)
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01/14/09

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows one of the smallest objects ever seen around a normal star. Astronomers believe the object is a brown dwarf because it is 12 times more massive than Jupiter. The brown dwarf candidate, called CHXR 73 B, is the bright spot at lower right. It orbits a red dwarf star, dubbed CHXR 73, which is a third less massive than the Sun. At 2 million years old, the star is very young when compared with our middle-aged 4.6-billion-year-old Sun. Credit: NASA, ESA, and K. Luhman (Penn State University, USA)
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The Hungarian Automated Telescope (HAT) is a small autonomous observatory designed for robotic observations of the night sky without human intervention. Credit: HAT
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01/14/09
The newly discovered world HAT-P-1 has baffled astronomers, since it is puffed up much larger than theory predicts. HAT-P-1 has a radius about 1.38 times Jupiter's but contains only half Jupiter's mass. Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)
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01/14/09
The newly discovered world HAT-P-1 has baffled astronomers, since it is puffed up much larger than theory predicts. HAT-P-1 has a radius about 1.38 times Jupiter's but contains only half Jupiter's mass. Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)
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01/14/09
This is an artist's concept of the star HD 3651 as it is orbited by a close-in Saturn-mass planetary companion and the distant brown dwarf companion discovered by Spitzer infrared photographs. The Saturn-mass planet was discovered through Doppler observations in 2003. Its orbit is very small, the size of Mercury's, and is highly elliptical. The gravity of the distant brown dwarf companion may be reponsible for the distorted shape of the inner planet's orbit. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / T. Pyle (SSC)

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01/14/09

Using infrared photographs obtained with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered two very cold brown dwarfs orbiting the stars HD 3651 (left) and HN Peg (right). These brown dwarfs have masses of only 20 and 50 times the mass of Jupiter and have orbits that are more than 10 times larger than Pluto's orbit. HD 3651 and HN Peg are in the Sun's neighborhood of the Galaxy, with distances of only 36 and 60 light years from the Sun. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / K. Luhman (Penn State University) / B. Patten (Harvard-Smithsonian)
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SOPHIE Spectrograph Credit: SOPHIE
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SuperWASP
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Artist's impression of a 'hot Jupiter' during transit. Copyright: Mark A. Garlick.
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Artist's impression of a flared proto-planetary disc, similar to what has been deduced from VISIR observations on ESO's Very Large Telescope around the 2.5 solar mass star HD 97048.
Credit: ESO
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01/14/09

Artist's impression of a flared proto-planetary disc, similar to what has been deduced from VISIR observations on ESO's Very Large Telescope around the 2.5 solar mass star HD 97048.
Credit: ESO
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01/14/09
The potential planet-forming disk (or "protoplanetary disk") of a sun-like star is being violently ripped away by the powerful winds of a nearby hot O-type star in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. At up to 100 times the mass of sun-like stars, O stars are the most massive and energetic stars in the universe.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Z. Balog (Univ. of Ariz./Univ. of Szeged)
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This is an artist´ impression of a Jupiter-sized planet passing in front of its parent star. Credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon
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This top image is of one-half of the Hubble Space Telescope field of view in the Sagittarius Window Eclipsing Extrasolar Planet Search (SWEEPS). The green circles identify 9 stars that are orbited by planets with periods of a few days. The bottom frame identifies one of two stars in the field where astronomers were able to spectroscopically measure the star´ back-and-forth wobble due to the pull of the planet. Credit: NASA, ESA, K. Sahu (STScI) and the SWEEPS science team
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This is an artist´ impression of a unique type of exoplanet discovered with the Hubble Space Telescope. This illustration presents a purely speculative view of what such a "hot Jupiter" might look like. Credit: NASA, ESA and A. Schaller (for STScI)
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Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)
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This is an artist's concept of a Jupiter-mass planet orbiting the nearby star Epsilon Eridani. Located 10.5 light-years away, it is the closest known exoplanet to our solar system. The planet is in an elliptical orbit that carries it as close to the star as Earth is from the Sun, and as far from the star as Jupiter is from the Sun. Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)
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Astronomy professors Leslie W. Looney, left, and Brian D. Fields, and undergraduate student John J. Tobin take a close look at short-lived radioactive isotopes once present in primitive meteorites. The researchers´ conclusions could reshape current theories on how, when and where planets form around stars. Credit: L. Brian Stauffer
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01/14/09
This artist's rendering shows a rocky iceball several times heavier than Earth orbiting a red dwarf star. Astronomers believe that some "super-Earths" form in a cosmic "snowstorm," collecting huge amounts of ices from the protoplanetary disk in which they formed. Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)
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The SofI small field image of the planet host star HD 3651, taken in June 2006 in the H-band. The co-moving companion HD 3651B is indicated with a black arrow. Credit: ESO
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The separations (top) and position angles (bottom) of HD 3651B relative to HD 3651 over a three year period. The solid, red line indicates the expected variation of separation and position angle in case HD 3651B is a non-moving background star. Credit: ESO
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Artist view of the giant exoplanet orbitng tau Bootis, through the star's magnetic archs (credit David Aguilar, CfA)
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Spatial, three-dimensional distribution of galaxies in a slice of the Universe as it was 7 billion years ago, based on the VVDS study: brighter areas represent the regions of the Universe with most galaxies. Astonishingly, the galaxy distribution - the 'building blocks' of the large scale structure - takes the shape of a helix at this primordial epoch. Credit: ESO
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ogle_planet1_banner
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Because of very slow fusion rates, the Red Dwarfs are capable of very long lifetimes (up to 100 billion years). They are fairly common within galaxies but do not contribute much to the total galactic mass. Proxima Centauri, which is the second closest to the Sun (4.1 light years) is a Red Dwarf.
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UA astronomers and their colleagues used the Arizona Radio Observatory's 10-meter Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham, Ariz., to probe cold gas in outer regions of other solar systems. For more about the SMT, visit the Website, http://aro.as.arizona.edu/(Photo: Dave Harvey)
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01/14/09
This is an artist's concept of a hypothetical 10-million-year-old star system. The bright blur at the center is a star much like our sun. The other orb in the image is a gas-giant planet like Jupiter. Wisps of white throughout the image represent traces of gas. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle, SSC)
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01/14/09
The dust and debris disk surrounding the star AU Microscopii, as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope.The lines indicate the polarization of starlight reflected from the disk, which reveals the porosity or fluffiness of the dust grains. The disk is about 120 astronomical units (AU) across, where one AU is equivalent to the distance between the Earth and sun, or 93 million miles. (Credit: NASA, ESA and James Graham/UC Berkeley)
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An artist's concept of the birth ring of debris encircling the 12-million-year-old star AU Microscopii. Porous, snowball-sized bodies collide within the birth ring. Stellar winds disperse dust grains away from the star beyond the birth ring to the outer debris disk. View full-size graphic (Credit: NASA, ESA an A. Feild STScI)
Viewed: 772 times
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An artist's conception shows a gas-giant planet orbiting very close to its parent star, creating searingly hot conditions on the planet's surface. New research suggests that for three such planets lying from 50 to 150 light-years from Earth, strong winds thousands of miles per hour mix the atmosphere so that the temperature is relatively uniform from the permanently light side to the permanently dark side. This illustration represents an infrared view of a planetary system, in which brightness indicates warmer temperatures. For example, the bright band around the equator of the planet denotes warmer temperatures on both the dark and sunlit sides. The planet's poles, shown in darker colors, would be cooler. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt
Viewed: 917 times
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