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Tag Archives: Institute for Astronomy

Discovery of tenth Tatooine-like circumbinary planet

Artist’s impression of the Kepler-453 system showing the newly discovered planet on the right and the eclipsing binary stars on the left. (Illustration copyright Mark Garlick)

A team of astronomers at the International Astronomical Union meeting in Honolulu, including University of Hawaiʻi astronomer Nader Haghighipour, will announce on August 14 the discovery of the tenth transiting circumbinary planet. The team is led by William Welsh, a professor at San Diego State University. The work has been published in the Astrophysical Journal, and the preprint is available. Reminiscent ...

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Is there life in the Alpha Centauri system?

Artist’s impressions of Earth-like planets covered by photosynthetic organisms with terrestrial-like biopigments studied by the team. (credit: S. Berdyugina and C. Giebink)

The search for life on other planets is fascinating, challenging and enlightening. Scientists from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Institute for Astronomy, including Astronomer Jeff Kuhn, Instrument and Telescope Project Scientist David Harrington and Software Engineer John Messersmith, are part of a team headed by Professor Svetlana Berdyugina (Kiepenheuer Institut fuer Sonnenphysik and the University of Freiburg, Germany), a visiting ...

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UH astronomer to head division of International Astronomical Union

Artist's conception of a star (left) being ejected from a galaxy by a supernova explosion. In reality the supernova would have been faded away long before the star reached that position. Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA.

Nader Haghighipour, an astronomer at the Institute for Astronomyand the NASA Astrobiology Institute at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has been elected president of Division F (planetary systems and astrobiology) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) for 2015–18. Haghighipour will have an important role in promoting and encouraging the study of planetary systems around our sun and outside our ...

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UH-led team successfully observes the solar eclipse over the arctic

Solar eclipse

The international Solar Wind Sherpas team, led by Dr. Shadia Habbal of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Institute for Astronomy, braved Arctic weather to successfully observe the total solar eclipse of March 20 from Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago east of northern Greenland. Their preliminary results were presented at the Triennial Earth-Sun Summit in ...

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Robotically discovering Earth’s nearest neighbors

Artist’s impression of a view from the HD 7924 planetary system looking back toward our sun, which would be easily visible to the naked eye. Since HD 7924 is in our northern sky, an observer looking back at the sun would see objects like the Southern Cross and the Magellanic Clouds close to our sun in their sky. Art by Karen Teramura & BJ Fulton, UH IfA.

A team of astronomers using ground-based telescopes in Hawaiʻi, California and Arizona recently discovered a planetary system orbiting a nearby star that is only 54 light-years away. All three planets orbit their star at a distance closer than Mercury orbits the sun, completing their orbits in just 5, 15 and 24 days. Astronomers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, the University ...

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Fastest star in our galaxy propelled by a thermonuclear supernova

Artist's conception of a star (left) being ejected from a galaxy by a supernova explosion. In reality the supernova would have been faded away long before the star reached that position. Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA.

A team of astronomers, including UH Mānoa astronomer Eugene Magnier, used the 10-meter Keck II and Pan-STARRS1 telescopes in Hawaiʻi to find a star that breaks the galactic speed record. It travels at about 1,200 kilometers per second (about 2.7 million mph), a speed that will enable the star to escape from our Milky Way galaxy. “At that speed, you ...

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Second known case of planet in quadruple star system discovered

30 Ari star system

Researchers wanting to know more about the influences of multiple stars on exoplanets have come up with a new case study: a planet in a four-star system. The discovery was made at Palomar Observatory using two new adaptive optics technologies that compensate for the blurring effects of Earth’s atmosphere: the robotic Robo-AO adaptive optics system, developed under the leadership of ...

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Three-planet system holds clues to atmospheres of Earth-size worlds

Kepler spacecraft

Extrasolar planets are being discovered by the hundreds, but are any of these newfound worlds really like Earth? A planetary system recently discovered by the Kepler spacecraft will help resolve this question. The system of three planets, each just larger than Earth, orbits a nearby star called EPIC 201367065. The three planets are 1.5 to 2 times the size of Earth, ...

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University of Hawaii assumes ownership of United Kingdom Infrared Telescope

United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) on Maunakea

On October 31, the University of Hawai‘i (UH) assumed ownership of the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) on Maunakea. The UKIRT is one of the world’s leading astronomical infrared observatories. UH President David Lassner said, “We are pleased to steward the UKIRT, a telescope that has made remarkable discoveries supporting the advancement of astronomical science. It is fitting to add ...

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[VIDEO] Introducing Laniakea, our home supercluster of galaxies

Laniakea Supercluster i

University of Hawai’i at Mānoa astronomer R. Brent Tully, who recently shared the 2014 Gruber Cosmology Prize and the 2014 Victor Ambartsumian International Prize, has led an international team of astronomers in defining the contours of the immense supercluster of galaxies containing our own Milky Way. They have named the supercluster “Laniakea,” meaning “immense heaven” in Hawaiian. The paper explaining this ...

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