Science Updates - A look at CfA discoveries from recent journals

April 17, 2015

The universe was created 13.7 billion years ago in a blaze of light: the big bang. Roughly 380,000 years later, after matter (mostly hydrogen) had cooled enough for neutral atoms to form, light was able to traverse space freely.

Nova Vul 1670
April 10, 2015

Astronomers have known for decades that the merger of two normal stars is a frequent and astronomically important phenomenon. In globular clusters, for example, with as many as several million stars gravitationally bound together, collisions often occur between stars, producing stars that are more massive, hotter, and bluer than usual.

A plot of light intensity (vertical scale in arbitrary units) versus time (horizontal scale in days) for a microlensing event.
April 3, 2015

The distance to celestial objects is key to calculating their intrinsic properties like mass and luminosity. Distance, unfortunately, is also one of the most difficult parameters to measure.