Science Updates - A look at CfA discoveries from recent journals

disk around the young star IRS63
October 16, 2020

As the slightly spinning material in a pre-stellar condensation collapses to form a star, angular momentum conservation shapes it into a circumstellar disk. Planets form from the gas and dust in these disks, whose structure and evolution are thus keys to unraveling the planet-building process.

schematic showing the motions of stars around the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy
October 9, 2020

Once a black hole forms, its intense gravitational field produces a surface beyond which even light cannot escape, and it appears black to outsiders. All the details of the complex mix of matter and energy in its past are lost, leaving it so simple that it can be completely described by just three parameters: mass, spin, and electric charge.

Horsehead Nebula
October 2, 2020

Dust is found scattered throughout space. It is composed of fine particles made of silicates, like sand on Earth, or of carbon, and these are often blended with other elements.