How do you introduce yourself, scientifically? I generally say that I’m an astronomer. More specifically, I’m an exoplanet astronomer, meaning I study planets that exist around other stars. In our solar system, all the planets orbit the Sun. I’m looking at planets in other stellar systems, orbiting stars much further away than the Sun. What are the implications or broader impacts of your work? This is … Continue reading What Does an Astronomer Do?
Jupiter’s moon Europa might not need the sun’s rays to glow. If so, its color will shed light on the chemistry of the ocean world. Continue reading Europa’s Glowing Ice Could Shine Light on the Moon’s Subterranean Secrets
A team of international astronomers have identified the smallest free-floating “rogue” planet observed to date. Continue reading Going Rogue in Space
After a new star is born, the surrounding gas and dust flattens out into a rotating disk. Some of that matter will condense, eventually forming the planets that circle the star. Unfortunately, it is challenging to watch the formation of a new planet. Light from the star tends to drown out light from the planet. Astronomers have only been able to spot planet-like-objects in these … Continue reading It’s a planet! Scientists find newborn planet for the first time
Something in outer space is shouting at us, but astronomers are still trying to figure out the source of this cosmic “noise.” A telescope in Australia recently detected a flood of radio waves, akin to the waves that allow you to listen to the radio in your car, coming from an otherwise unremarkable area of the sky. These millisecond-long pulses of electromagnetic radiation are called fast radio bursts … Continue reading Radio Waves from Outer Space Continue to Baffle Astronomers