Posts tagged with ‘stars

Coldest white dwarf ever discovered is basically an Earth sized diamond

ICE COLD

Astronomers have detected an ancient stellar remnant that’s 10 times fainter than the dimmest white dwarf ever discovered. Fortuitously orbited by a pulsar, this cold and collapsed star consists of crystallized carbon — essentially making it an Earth-sized diamond in space. Indeed, this white dwarf would have never been discovered if it hadn’t been for the pulsar that spins around it.

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Galaxy ESO 137-001 is tearing itself apart
This is what it looks like when a spiral galaxy, traveling nearly 4.5 million miles per hour, plows into interstellar gas clouds. This composite made from images from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-Ray Telescope show a trail of destruction spanning light years of space. I’m sure this is making a helluva light show for anything living in that galaxy.

Galaxy ESO 137-001 is tearing itself apart

This is what it looks like when a spiral galaxy, traveling nearly 4.5 million miles per hour, plows into interstellar gas clouds. This composite made from images from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-Ray Telescope show a trail of destruction spanning light years of space. I’m sure this is making a helluva light show for anything living in that galaxy.

Fast moving star is the closest yet discovered to the Milky Way’s black hole

At the center of our galaxy lies a black hole whose massive gravitational field helps keeps this whole party together. Near the center of the galaxy are lots of stars, but it’s such a cosmic clusterfuck, it’s hard to get a good idea of what’s going on down there. Astronomers using the Keck telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii have been watching stars near the galactic center in IR for 17 years, providing a detailed view of their dynamics. The fruits of these observations include the measurement of the mass of the Milky Way’s central black hole: approximately 4 million times the mass of the Sun.

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Turns out that stars scream when they’re being eaten by black holes

In the depths of space, can anyone hear you scream? If you were near a star being ripped apart as it’s being sucked into a black hole, you might hear a whole lot of screaming, coming from the star itself. 

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New type of chemical bond may exist in the extreme magnetic fields of stars

The atoms we’re familiar with are held together with a sort of an electric force. But in the extreme magnetic fields of stars, far more powerful than we could ever produce on Earth, could be a new kind of magnetic chemical attraction, resulting a new breed of molecules.

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"Impossible" binary red dwarf star system discovered

There are plenty of binary star systems out there, but it’s often been thought that there’s an absolute minimum distance two starts can orbit each other before they just slam into each other and form a single star. But several pairs of new red dwarf stars are challenging that minimum distance.

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Gorgeous simulation of a black hole devouring a star
A black hole devours a star, turning it into a fire dragon, in one of the stunning new NASA images in the new issue of Nature.
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Gorgeous simulation of a black hole devouring a star

A black hole devours a star, turning it into a fire dragon, in one of the stunning new NASA images in the new issue of Nature.

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IHC After Dark: Video simulation of the red dwarf orbiting our sun that will come and kill us all

In 1983 IRAS (Infrared Astronomical Satellite) spotted a red dwarf, later named M6V 11825 (Minoris). Shortly after they discovered it was moving towards us, and fearing public panic, withdrew their statement.

Guys, it’s totally true, because tits.

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Saturday moment of zen: The stars as viewed from the International Space Station

Timelapse videos depicting the stars from low earth orbit, as viewed from the International Space Station. Images edited using Adobe Lightroom with some cropping to make the stars the focal point of each shot, and with manipulation of the contrast to bring out the stars a bit more.

How big is a neutron star compared to New York City?

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has created this image to illustrate the size of a neutron star, the “crushed core of a star that has exploded as a supernova” and packs half a million times the mass of Earth in a size that’s practically microscopic for a star.

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Gomez’s Hamburger is probably the best named star out there

Sure, some stars like Betelgeuse have cool names, but too many of them are just letters and numbers for cataloguing purposes. And then there’s Gomez’s Hamburger, above, that not only has one of the cooler names for a star, but is a pretty damn cool star in itself.

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How our Sun compares in size to the largest star ever discovered

I’ll give you a spoiler if you can’t watch the video for some reason: Our Sun is really, really fucking small in comparison.

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Could a blast of radiation from a passing star cluster have caused a mass extinction on Earth?

Around 440 million years ago, the Earth saw one of several mass extinction events, and now some scientists believe that particular mass extinction could have been caused by a deadly blast of radiation from a passing cluster of dying stars. Great, that’s one more thing in the universe that could kill all of us without giving a shit.

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NASA spots the first known star to have spiral arms

Stars come in all sorts of different shapes, but they all pretty much look the same. Giant plasma nuclear furnaces that are generally spherical. Generally. And then NASA went and discovered a star that defies the normal star shape in that it has spiral arms, like a mini galaxy.

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NASA discovers a dwarf star measuring a cool 80 degrees Fahrenheit

Cool dwarf, bro.

NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) was decommissioned last year, but as part of its last cache of data that’s recently been made available, some 100 new brown dwarfs stars were discovered, one of which is as cool as 80 degree Fahrenheit, making it one of the few stars that you could swim through comfortably. If such a thing were possible.

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