Science Updates - A look at CfA discoveries from recent journals

ultraviolet image of a loop-like coronal arc in the Sun
September 25, 2020

The solar corona, the hot outer layer of the Sun, has a temperature of over a million degrees Kelvin and powers a wind of charged particles, some of which bombard the Earth producing auroral glows and often disrupting global communications.

Four planetary nebulae as seen by Hubble
September 18, 2020

About seven and one-half billion years from now our sun will have converted most of its hydrogen fuel into helium through fusion, and then burned most of that helium into carbon and oxygen. It will have swollen to a size large enough to fill the solar system nearly to the current orbit of Mars, and lost almost half of its mass in winds.

artist's conception of a planet-forming, circumstellar disk around a young star
September 11, 2020

Planets form from the gas and dust in disks that surround young stars. Chemicals in the disk that evaporate easily, called volatiles, include important molecules like water, carbon monoxide, nitrogen, as well as other simple organic molecules.