Fast Facts About Young Stars of the Universe

Young Stars of star cluster NGC 3572

 

Determining the age of a star can be one of the trickiest measurements an astronomer can make.  Stars don’t obviate their age like humans do — with wrinkles around the eyes, grey hair, or brittle bones.  Instead stars give hints at their age through things like their motion, rotation rate, chemistry, and placement in the Galaxy. Finding “extrema” on the age spectrum for stars — the oldest and youngest — is much easier than trying to find middle aged objects like our Sun.   In this article, we reveal five fast facts about the youngest stars in the Galaxy.

Jackie Faherty

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Fast Facts About Old Stars of the Universe

 

star cluster NGC 1866

 

Determining the age of a star can be one of the trickiest measurements an astronomer can make.  Stars don’t obviate their age like humans do — with wrinkles around the eyes, grey hair, or brittle bones.  Instead stars give hints at their age through things like their motion, rotation rate, chemistry, and placement in the Galaxy. Finding “extrema” on the age spectrum for stars — the oldest and youngest — is much easier than trying to find middle aged objects like our Sun.   In this article, we reveal four fast facts about the oldest stars in the Galaxy.

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Fast Facts About the Milky Way Galaxy

ESO ALMA Array

 

The Milky Way Galaxy is the name given to our home in the cosmos.  We have never imaged the Galaxy from the outside, only from our position in the solar system.  As a result, much of what we know about the structure has to be inferred from clever and detailed studies.  While there are many fast fact pages I can write about the Galaxy, within this article I have chosen four important ones for understanding our home location.

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Fast Facts About Brown Dwarfs

Brown Dwarf

 

Brown Dwarfs are the lowest mass products of the star formation process.  They are often called “failed stars” as they don’t have enough mass to ignite nuclear fusion at their core.  But that label implies that the stars are the objects that celestial objects should aspire to be when no such preference really exists.  As a counter to that connotation they are sometimes referred to as “overexcited planets”. 

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Fast Facts About Star Systems Close to Earth

 

Proxima Centauri

 

The closest stars to the Earth are also some of the best studied celestial objects.  In Astrophysics, distance makes all the difference. The closer an object is, the more light we will be able to glean from it. Stars come in different types (masses, chemical compositions, ages), but the closest example of each type will be a critical object to study. In this article we review five fast facts about the closest systems to the Earth and what they mean for astrophysical studies.

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