Amy Oliver

Yellowballs offer insights into star formation

The unexpected discovery of yellowballs by citizen scientists – in 2011 and 2012 – is shaking up astronomers’ ideas about how stars and star clusters form. It’s giving scientists a new window into the birth and evolution of young stars.

Update on the 7 Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby TRAPPIST-1

A new study of the seven Earth-sized exoplanets around TRAPPIST-1 indicate that all 7 planets are extremely similar to each other in makeup, but potentially quite different from Earth.

C1-23152: An ancient galaxy that built itself

A popular theory of galaxy formation suggests that small galaxies merged to form larger ones. But galaxy C1-23152 – 12 billion light-years from Earth – apparently formed itself from gas in the early universe, via exceedingly rapid star formation.

Artist's conception of NO Lup, a hot young star, surrounded by a disk of gas, flowing outward from the star.

A surprising find of fast-moving gas from a young star

Fast-moving gas from a young star – located in a star-forming region 400 light-years away – is giving astronomers insight into how planets form.

artist's conception of Psyche asteroid

Hubble telescope reveals asteroid Psyche’s rusty surface

Scientists already had Psyche classified as a metallic asteroid, but new observations with the Hubble telescope reveal its rusty surface and provide scientists with a unique view into what Earth-like planets are like during their formation.

Metal-poor globular cluster forces astronomers to rethink theories

The discovery of the most metal-poor globular cluster recorded to date has forced scientists to rethink how both galaxies and globular clusters form.

Image from HiRISE showing solidified sand dunes on Martian surface

Billion-year-old Martian dunes reveal planet’s history

The discovery of near-perfectly preserved billion-year-old Martian dunes is helping scientists to unravel the geologic and climatic history of the red planet.

A cluster of small meteor craters on Mars.

Scientists use AI to find tiny craters on Mars

All these years, NASA scientists have laboriously sifted through spacecraft images to identify and classify markings on Mars. Now they’re using a new “classifier,” powered by artificial intelligence. What takes a human 40 minutes takes the AI tool an average of just 5 seconds.