NASA's Kepler discovers multiple planets orbiting a pair of stars
Some 4.567 billion years ago, our solar system's planets spawned from an expansive disc of gas and dust rotating around the sun. While similar processes are witnessed in younger solar systems throughout the Milky Way, the formative stages of our own solar system were believed to have taken twice as long to occur. Now, new research suggests otherwise. Indeed, our solar system is not quite as special as once believed.
Astronomers have found evidence for a dying Sun-like star coming briefly back to life after casting its gassy shells out into space, mimicking the possible fate our own Solar System faces in a few billion years.
Death Star: Eta Carinae, one of the closest stars to Earth is huge and unstable and will likely explode in a supernova in the relatively 'near future' (On an astronomical timeline this could be a million years from now). via NASA #Eta_Carinae #Supernova #NASA
Solar systems with life-bearing planets may be rare if they are dependent on the presence of asteroid belts of just the right mass, according to a study by Rebecca Martin, a NASA Sagan Fellow from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and astronomer Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md.
Astrophysicists at the University of Toronto and other institutions across the United States, Europe and Asia have discovered a 'super-Jupiter' around the massive star Kappa Andromedae. The object, which could represent the first new observed exoplanet system in almost four years, has a mass at least 13 times that of Jupiter and an orbit somewhat larger than Neptune's.
This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows NGC 6388, a dynamically middle-aged globular cluster in the Milky Way. While the cluster formed in the distant past (like all globular clusters, it is over ten billion years old), a study of the distribution of bright blue stars within the cluster shows that it has aged at a moderate speed, and its heaviest stars are in the process of migrating to the centre.
Discovered in 2005, the clays of the southern hemisphere of Mars are often considered to be evidence for the existence of liquid water on the planet at a period in the very distant past between 4.5 and 4 billion years ago. However, work carried out by a French-US team led by researchers at the Institut de Chimie des Milieux et Matériaux in Poitiers (CNRS/Université de Poitiers) calls this interpretation into question.