Science Updates - A look at CfA discoveries from recent journals

artist's concept of exoplanets roughly similar to Earth
September 21, 2018

There are about 4433 exoplanets in the latest catalogs. Their radii have generally been measured by knowing the radius of their host star and then closely fitting the lightcurves as the planet transits across the face of the star.

false-color infrared photograph of the Serpens cluster
September 14, 2018

Stars frequently form in crowded environments. By combining the resources of multi-wavelength missions like Chandra in the X-ray and Spitzer in the infrared, astronomers are able to resolve ambiguities and assemble a much more complete census of cluster content and the individual properties of the population.

orbit of the star Polaris Ab around the bright Cepheid variable star Polaris Aa
September 7, 2018

The North Star, Polaris, is a Cepheid variable: one whose mass, age and physical conditions generate periodic oscillations with a period proportional to the star's intrinsic luminosity. This extraordinarily useful property of Cepheid variables, discovered and calibrated at Harvard by Henrietta Leavitt starting in 1908, allows them to be used as cosmic distance calibrators.