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Astronomer Locates Previously Unseen Neighbor to the Sun


When NASA launched the WISE satellite in 2009, astronomers hoped it would be able to spot loads of cool, dim objects known as brown dwarfs. Bigger than a planet, a brown dwarf is not quite a star, either—it is too small to sustain the nuclear fusion reactions that turn hydrogen to helium. But it may [...]

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Massive Planets Might Escape Stellar Engulfment Largely Undiminished

exoplanets, red giant, stellar evolution

Having your planet swallowed by a star is no fun. But some planets might be able to run the astrophysical gauntlet and make it through more or less intact. When a star comparable to or somewhat larger than the sun enters advanced age, it swells up into a red giant, expanding far beyond its original [...]

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