'Heartbeat Stars' Unlocked in New Study

Heartbeat stars got their name because if you were to map out their brightness over time, the result looks like an electrocardiogram, a graph of the electrical activity of the heart.

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Witnessing a Planetary Wreckage

Witnessing a Planetary Wreckage

Astronomers were surprised to see these data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope in January 2013, showing a huge eruption of dust around a star called NGC 2547-ID8. In this plot, infrared brightness is represented on the vertical axis, and time on the horizontal axis.

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Astrophysics Missions

Galaxy Evolution Explorer
Uses ultraviolet wavelengths to measure the history of star formation 80 percent of the way back to the Big Bang.
Mission home page

Updates, documents, and in-depth information about NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program.
Exoplanet web site

Keck Interferometer
Links two 10-meter (33-foot) telescopes, which form the world's most powerful optical telescope system.
Telescope home page

Kepler Mission
The Kepler Mission will search for Earth-like planets with the "transit" method.
Kepler home page

Palomar Observatory
A joint effort between JPL and the California Institute of Technology, the Palomar Observatory houses a collection of famous telescopes.
Palomar home page

PlanetQuest web site
The latest news, images, and information about NASA's search for exoplanets and another Earth.
PlanetQuest web site

Spitzer Space Telescope
Uses infrared technology to study celestial objects that are too cool, too dust-enshrouded or too far away to otherwise be seen.
Mission home page

Voyager to the Outer Planets
Voyager 1 and 2 flew past Jupiter and Saturn. Voyager 2 also flew by Uranus and Neptune. Voyager 1 is now approaching interstellar space.
Mission home page

Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)
WISE is mapping the entire sky in infrared light, uncovering the coolest stars, the universe's most luminous galaxies and some of the darkest near-Earth asteroids and comets.
Mission home page

This illustration represents how hot Jupiters of different temperatures. Cloudy Nights, Sunny Days on Distant Hot Jupiters

A new study finds clues to where clouds gather on hot Jupiters, and what they're likely made of.

Read more (Oct. 18)

The dusty side of the Sword of Orion is illuminated in this striking infrared image from ESA's Hershel Space Observatory. Building Blocks of Life's Building Blocks Come From Starlight

With new data from Herschel, astronomers better understand how molecules form that are necessary for building other chemicals essential for life.

Read more (Oct. 12)

This animation shows a series of 15 images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken by NASA's Kepler. NASA's Kepler Gets the 'Big Picture' of Comet 67P

NASA's Kepler spacecraft studied comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for two weeks in September, complementing the view from the Rosetta spacecraft.

Read more (Oct. 7)

More news

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which launched Aug. 25, 2003, will begin an extended mission—the “Beyond” phase—on Oct. 1, 2016. Spitzer Beyond

This mission was designed to last at least two-and-a-half years; 13 years later, Spitzer has operated far beyond the scope of the original mission.

Crazy Engineering: Starshade/Coronagraph Crazy Engineering: Starshade/Coronagraph

Sometimes light just gets in the way. A look at two technologies that block starlight to give telescopes a better view of distant Earth-like planets.

Crazy Engineering:  The Camera that Fixed Hubble Crazy Engineering: The Camera that Fixed Hubble

When the first images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope were too blurry, JPL scientists and engineers devised a genius fix: a camera with corrective vision.

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