There's a star about 370 light years from here that's pulsating in response to its unusually heavy planetary companion. It's the first time that astronomers have seen this sort of interaction between a planet and its host star.
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Calling all space cadets: Today, a group of researchers led by the Carnegie Institute of Science released an impressive database containing 61,000 so-called Doppler velocity measurements of 1600 nearby stars. The team is graciously inviting you to use their data to find the next exoplanet. Go forth and become drunk with power.
Perishing alone in space — in a gaseous cloud of stench — ranks pretty highly on the list of Terrible Ways to Die. Sadly, that was the fate of one unfortunate star trapped in the Calabash Nebula, nicknamed the "Rotten Egg Nebula" due to its high sulphur content. If you've ever smelled sulphur — or dog farts — you already understand the name.
A long time ago in two galaxies far, far away, there was quite the kerfuffle. New research suggests that about 200 million years ago, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way located 160,000 lightyears from Earth, got into an intergalactic altercation with its younger sibling, the Small Magellanic Cloud. But the best part is what came after.
A new paper from Columbia University suggests that Tabby's star — the celestial object voted most likely to host an alien megastructure — is acting weirdly because it recently annihilated an entire planet, and the shattered remains of that planet are now producing strange flickering effects. It's probably the best theory we've heard so far.
It's not often that a new body appears in the night sky — aside from meteors and the occasionally comet, things tend to look pretty much the same. Now, astronomers predict that a pair of stars so close they're basically touching will collide and create a so-called red nova, resulting in a bright explosion visible to the naked eye.