Brown dwarfs, such as the one seen in this illustration, are actually orange or red, and they glow brightest in the infrared part of the spectrum. PHOTOGRAPH: NASA/JPL-CALTECH/2MASS The brown dwarf isn’t a star and it’s not a planet. But it’s illuminating the murky borderlands that separate the two. DAN CASELDEN […]

An image of Messier 101, the Pinwheel Galaxy, made with the Hubble Space Telescope. The bright blue clumps in the spiral arms are sites of recent star formation. Credit: NASA, ESA, K. Kuntz (JHU), F. Bresolin (University of Hawaii), J. Trauger (Jet Propulsion Lab), J. Mould (NOAO), Y.-H. Chu (University […]

These images show the surface of the red supergiant star Betelgeuse during its unprecedented dimming, which happened in late 2019 and early 2020. The image on the far left, taken in January 2019, shows the star at its normal brightness, while the remaining images, from December 2019, January 2020, and […]

This illustration depicts a planet partially hidden in the glare of its host star and a nearby companion star. After examining a number of binary stars, astronomers have concluded that Earth-sized planets in many two-star systems might be going unnoticed by transit searches, which look for changes in the light […]

A team led by UMD astronomers created the first clear image of an expanding bubble of stellar gas where stars are born using data from NASA’s SOFIA telescope on board a heavily modified 747 jet as seen here in this artist’s rendering. Credit: Artist Rendering by Marc Pound/UMD UMD-led team […]

Protoplanetary disks are classified into three main categories: transition, ring, or extended. These false-color images from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) show these classifications in stark contrast. On left: the ring disk of RU Lup is characterized by narrow gaps thought to be carved by giant planets with masses […]