magnetic stars

24 Oct 2015

At ... astronomers have discovered stars are strongly magnetised. Using a technique known as astroseismology, where sound waves generated by turbulence at the surface of stars is used to probe their inner properties. The findings are published in the journal Science (Oct 23rd, 2015) and Jim Fuller says, 'we still don't know what the centre of our own Sun looks like' - but the research has so far had a focus on what are known as 'red giants' as they appear to be amenable to astroseismology (where gravity waves can be used to propagate all the way into the centre). The switch from sound waves to gravity waves is an important element of the research as when strong magnetic fields are present in a star's core the fields will disrupt the gravity waves - and is this what they have witnessed. Astroseismology does not work with our own Sun which is why looking at other stars is a necessity.

At ... the Hubble Space Telescope has used 'gravitational lensing' to reveal a sample of the faintest and earliest of the galaxies in our universe, some of which may have formed shortly after Big Bang. The same story can be seen at