The mysterious astronomical phenomenon known as fast radio bursts has yielded a new breakthrough, in that astronomers have now been able to trace one of these mysterious signals back to its source, having originated a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away—over three and a half billion light-years
A diminutive Goblin lurks in the cold, dark recesses of the heavens, far past the icy blue depths of Poseidon, and even deeper into the void than the abode of Hades. And, according to the explorers that discovered this strange entity, the millennia-long journey into the abyss that this Goblin takes suggests that a resolution to an even deeper mystery — that of the elusive Planet Nine — may one day be solved.
A star that goes nova is only supposed to explode once… right?
That long-held assumption was upended when astronomers spotted a Type II-P supernova in progress in a star 509 million light-years away on September 8, 2014. The exploding star in question, iPTF14hls, was predicted to fade within 100 days, but its luminosity not only persisted for the next 600 days, it also flared to an even greater brightness at least five more times, implying that this single star had experienced a supernova at least six times.
Astronomers have discovered what is now the smallest known star in the galaxy, in a system roughly 600 light-years from Earth. Part of a trinary star system, the smaller of the pair, EBLM J0555-57Ab, is estimated to only be 8 percent of the mass of our own Sun, in a compact package no bigger than Saturn.
This itty-bitty sun may represent the smallest size that a star can be: to sustain the hydrogen fusion process that provides a star’s energy, the gases within must be brought to a high pressure and temperature, meaning that there needs to be enough mass present in the star to provide these conditions.