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Artist’s impression of a kilonova caused by a neutron star merger. In the material released by the merger, various heavy elements are formed, which then absorb and emit light. New atomic data calculations help to clarify kilonovae. Credit: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Understanding the cosmic origins of heavy elements

Atoms and ions can absorb and emit certain colors of light. By analyzing the detailed colors of inaccessible objects, like high-temperature plasmas in a...
Artist’s impression of the newly discovered object.

Japanese astronomers spot new class of object in the Kuiper Belt

A team at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan has discovered a new class of object that has long been thought to exist in...
Cosmic clocks. We can estimate the age of heavy elements in the primordial Solar System by measuring the traces left in meteorites by specific radioactive nuclei synthesized in certain types of supernovae

Falling stars hold clue for understanding dying stars

Supernovae are imperative events in the advancement of stars and galaxies, however, the subtle elements of how the explosions happen are as yet obscure....