The X-ray emissions were discovered by chance beyond the Milky Way and no one really knows what is causing them. Jimmy Irwin wasn’t looking to get a paper published in Nature when he gave three of his University of Alabama undergraduate students an assignment.
He told them to comb through archived Chandra and XMM-Newton telescope data for examples of bright X-ray emissions coming from galaxies beyond the Milky Way. The catch was to find examples emanating from globular cluster galaxies, a type of very old galaxy. Continue reading Weird Deep Space X-Ray Flashes Stump Astronomers
When our sun was young, it was a very nasty star that erupted with “superflares” and blowtorched the inner solar system with powerful solar winds. Fortunately, the sun finally grew up and mellowed, reaching the calm(er) state it is now. Continue reading Earth’s Magnetism Saved It From Solar Sterilization
Some stars are just born with extremely magnetic personalities. Take TVLM 513-46546 for example. It’s a small M-class red dwarf, a star that belongs to the most populous stellar group in the galaxy. But TVLM 513-46546 would find it hard blending in with the crowd. Continue reading Violent Tiny Star Is a Magnetic Powerhouse