Too much sodium turns a star blue

An international team of astrophysicists, led by researchers from the Université de Montréal, has identified a star on which a sodium-rich asteroid has crashed, drastically transforming its apparent color. These results raise many questions about the…

All systems go for exo-Earth hunter SPIRou

Nine months after capturing its first images from atop Maunakea in Hawaii, the scientific instrument SPIRou (SpectroPolarimètre InfraRouge) got the green light to begin its first scientific observation campaign at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT). The instrument was…

Twice the size of Earth

Young Canadian student at Université de Montréal discovers new exoplanet ideal for detailed characterization. Wolf 503b, an exoplanet twice the size of Earth, has been discovered by an international team using data from NASA’s Kepler Space…

Discovering the closest habitable worlds: the grand planet survey

SPIRou’s long awaited large planet survey will be debuting soon. This program will extent for a period of three to five years at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and will allow for the detection of planets orbiting 100…

When do aging brown dwarfs sweep the clouds away?

Brown dwarfs, the larger cousins of giant planets, undergo atmospheric changes from cloudy to cloudless as they age and cool. A team of astronomers led by Carnegie’s Jonathan Gagné measured for the first time the temperature…

A ‘hot Jupiter’ with unusual winds

Puzzling finding raises new questions about atmospheric physics of giant planets The hottest point on a gaseous planet near a distant star isn’t where astrophysicists expected it to be – a discovery that challenges scientists’ understanding…

Scientists Solve the Mystery of Blinking Brown Dwarfs

Dim objects called brown dwarfs, less massive than the Sun but more massive than Jupiter, have powerful winds and clouds — specifically, hot patchy clouds made of iron droplets and silicate dust. Scientists recently realized these…

Surprise! When a brown dwarf is actually a planetary mass object

Sometimes a brown dwarf is actually a planet—or planet-like anyway. A team led by Carnegie’s Jonathan Gagné, and including researchers from the Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) at Université de Montréal, University of California San…

New low-mass objects could help refine planetary evolution

Montréal, QC — When a star is young, it is often still surrounded by a primordial rotating disk of gas and dust from which planets can form. Astronomers like to find such disks because they might be able…

Planet-Devouring Star Reveals Possible Limestone Crumbs

A group of researchers using the W. M. Keck Observatory have discovered a planet-like body that may have been encrusted in limestone and is having its surface layers devoured by its deceased host star. In addition…