An international exoplanet ‘think tank’ is meeting this week in Cambridge to deliberate on the ten most important questions that humanity could answer in the next decade about planets outside our solar system.
A young star over 30 times more massive than the Sun could help us understand how the most extreme stars in the Universe are born.
Astronomers have found the first evidence of comets around a star similar to the sun, providing an opportunity to study what our solar system was like as a ‘baby’.
Three Earth-sized planets have been discovered orbiting a dim and cool star, and may be the best place to search for life beyond the Solar System.
Astronomers have observed two black holes in nearby galaxies devouring their companion stars at an extremely high rate, and spitting out matter at a quarter the speed of light.
In 1995, in Geneva, PhD student Didier Queloz discovered a planet orbiting another sun – something that astronomers had predicted, but never found. Today he continues his terra hunting for extreme worlds and Earth twins in Cambridge.
A new method of measuring the distances between stars enables astronomers to climb the ‘cosmic ladder’ and understand the processes at work in the outer reaches of the galaxy.
The Gaia satellite has discovered a unique binary system where one star is ‘eating’ the other, but neither star has any hydrogen, the most common element in the Universe. The system could be an important tool for understanding how binary stars might explode at the end of their lives.