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Interstellar Medium

Content About: Interstellar Medium

Published: 12/08/2015 - 12:11pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

In 2008, Fellow Jeff Linsky and his colleague Seth Redfield of Wesleyan University used spectral information gathered by the Hubble Space Telescope to figure out that the solar system is surrounded by 15 nearby clouds of warm gas, all within 50 light years of the Sun. In 2014, Cécile Gry of Aix-Marseille Université (France) and Edward Jenkins of Princeton University Observatory analyzed the...

Published: 03/13/2013 - 1:57pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Astrophysicist Fellow Jeff Linsky and his colleagues from CU’s Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy have come up with a neat strategy for helping to determine whether an exoplanet’s atmosphere contains evidence of Earth-like life. The first step is to see whether an exoplanet’s atmosphere contains oxygen (O2), ozone (O3), or other molecules that could have been...

Published: 09/13/2011 - 6:00pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Long, long ago galaxies now far away formed around ravenous black holes scattered throughout the Universe. Some 12.5 billion years later, JILA scientist Gayler Harford and Fellow Andrew Hamilton have identified the superhighways that funneled gas into some of the nascent galaxies. These thruways not only routed gas to feed the monster black holes, but also supplied raw materials for the...

Published: 04/19/2011 - 6:00pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, or COS, is a powerful new instrument scanning the Universe. COS was installed on the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009. Since then, it has been searching for clues about the composition of the Universe, including how galaxies like our own Milky Way formed and evolved over time. It is seeing beautiful things never before detected in the Universe because it is the...

Published: 08/17/2010 - 6:00pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

A faint star that can easily be seen from Earth with binoculars has a Jupiter-like gas planet orbiting it once in just three days. That means the planet is close enough to its Sun-like star to get scorching hot, which affects both the planet and its atmosphere. The star is called HD209458, and its planet’s moniker is HD209458b.

Recently Fellow Jeff Linsky, research...

Published: 07/08/2009 - 6:00pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Our solar system is currently sprinting around the center of the Milky Way at a speed of 26 km/sec. But, we’re not just hurtling through empty space, according to Fellow Jeff Linsky and former graduate student Seth Redfield (now assistant professor of astronomy at Wesleyan University). We’re surrounded by 15 "nearby" clouds of warm gas, all within 50 light years of the...

Published: 09/29/2008 - 6:00pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Until recently, astronomers have had difficulty figuring out the composition and size of dust grains in galaxies beyond the Milky Way. They've had some luck with the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC, respectively). However, these two "satellite" galaxies are practically our next-door neighbors and much easier to observe.

Now, however, information about...

Published: 04/08/2007 - 6:00pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

There’s a new aspect to research on gamma-ray bursts: their use to discern features of the environment around the star that produced them during its core’s collapse into a black hole. This type of analysis is possible because the spectrum of a gamma-ray burst afterglow is a straight-line continuum without features. Absorption lines can appear in the spectrum because of the...

Published: 02/09/2007 - 5:00pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

Our Sun and its eight planets were born in a rough neighborhood nearly 5 billion years ago. Since then our star has traveled countless light years through the Milky Way, and our planet Earth has evolved the only intelligent life we know of in the Universe. Now, Earth's progeny are seeking to understand not only their own origins, but those of the Sun and its planets. They've...

Published: 02/09/2006 - 5:00pm Type of Content: Article-Research Highlight

We know a lot about cool stars because our Sun is one of them. However, we can't know for sure if cool stars produce winds (like the Sun does) without looking for evidence of such winds. Where stellar winds exist, they interact with hydrogen in the interstellar medium far from the star to produce tell-tale absorption in stellar ultraviolet spectral lines. The solar wind produces a...

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