Tagged: stars


Hulk/Wolverine Hybrid Weapon H Stars in New Comic

There’s no stopping Weapon H.
By Jesse Schedeen[1]

Marvel held their “Next Big Thing: Marvel Legacy” panel at NYCC today, where the publisher revealed one more title joining the growing Marvel Legacy lineup next spring. Spinning out of the recent “W…


The hunt is on! Huge public dataset may contain hints of exoplanets

Why it matters to you

Your inner scientist is calling, and now is the time to pick up the phone — astronomers need help discovering alien worlds.

A team of astronomers led by the Carnegie Institution for Science[1] made public on Monday an immense catalog of observations on nearby stars[2]. The dataset is intended to be easily accessible for citizen scientists to engage in the search for exoplanets.

More than 61,000 measurements on over 1,600 stars are included in the catalog, which was complied during more than two decades by Hawaii’s W.M. Keck Observatory[3]. Along with the dataset, the public is encouraged to download open-source software[4] and an online tutorial[5] to assist in analysis.

MoreKepler finds 104 exoplanets in the largest single haul of confirmed planets
The huge catalog — the largest ever released using a method called radial velocity (RV), the slight movements some stars make in response to internal or external forces (such as the gravitational pull of an exoplanet) — was made possible thanks to a little bit of outside-of-the-box thinking. Keck’s High-Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES) instrument wasn’t initially designed to measure RV, but astronomers quickly realized it could be used for such studies.

“Although HIRES was originally designed to look at faint galaxies, my teammates had plans to use HIRES for planet hunting before it was even installed,” Jennifer Burt[7], an MIT postdoctoral fellow who’s involved in the project, told Digital Trends. “Which is why Steve Vogt[8], who designed the instrument, made sure there was an iodine cell — which is one of the methods for doing precision RV science — installed at first light.”

That’s a good thing too, since HIRES has facilitated a handful of notable exoplanet discoveries since the mid-1990s, according to Burt.

The researchers have been busy combing through the data collected by HIRES and have recently detected more than 100 potential exoplanets. In a paper that will soon be published in the Astronomical Journal, Burt and her colleagues describe the discovery of a 3.8 Earth-mass planet orbiting our fourth closest star. “[This] really drives home the point that almost all of our nearby stars likely have planets around them,” she said.

However, the researchers hope the catalog’s release will inspire citizen scientists around the world to join the hunt, because there’s simply too much data for them to effectively sift through alone.

“My hope is that this data will give people who might not deal with science in their every day lives the incentive to investigate the data analysis and fitting process,” Burt said. “I think that exoplanets are both a very tangible and very exciting area of science, and one in which we are making new discoveries almost every day. Because of that, this field is a great way to introduce the community, especially the kids in grade school and high school, to cutting edge research and show them that anyone can be a scientist!”


  1. ^ Carnegie Institution for Science (home.dtm.ciw.edu)
  2. ^ an immense catalog of observations on nearby stars (news.mit.edu)
  3. ^ W.M. Keck Observatory (www.keckobservatory.org)
  4. ^ open-source software (www.stefanom.org)
  5. ^ an online tutorial (oklo.org)
  6. ^ Kepler finds 104 exoplanets in the largest single haul of confirmed planets (www.digitaltrends.com)
  7. ^ Jennifer Burt (space.mit.edu)
  8. ^ Steve Vogt (www.ucolick.org)

9 famous actors who started out as child stars

At this festive time of year, there’s a good chance you just finished watching the young Macaulay Culkin in one of the iconic Home Alone Christmas films. However, there are more actors than you may realize who caught the acting bug before they finished middle school. Some have fallen off the radar (like Culkin or, ahem, Lindsay Lohan), but others have re-established themselves in adulthood to achieve thriving careers in show business.

More: Who’s typecast? 11 big stars who shed their most famous roles[1]

One of the most prolific is Christian Bale, who burst on the scene in 1987’s Empire of the Sun at just 13 years old, and has since gone on to become one of the biggest actors in Hollywood thanks to roles like Patrick Bateman in American Psycho and Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Dark Knight trilogy. On the small screen, Neil Patrick Harris made it big with Doogie Howser, M.D., long before How I Met Your Mother, while Jason Bateman landed ‘80s sitcom roles on Silver Spoons and The Hogan Family decades before Arrested Development made him a superstar.

Who else joins the list? Here are 9 famous actors who had starring roles before they even hit puberty.

Ryan Gosling

When you think Ryan Gosling today, you may think of the dreamy, 36-year-old who’s had starring roles in top-grossing movies like The Notebook, The Big Short, and, most recently, La La Land. But the Canadian actor with the perfectly chiseled jaw first started acting as a 12-year-old on Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club. He worked alongside others who went on to have equally successful careers in music or acting, including Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Keri Russell. Additionally, he appeared in kids shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Goosebumps. But it was his role in the romantic Nicholas Sparks flick The Notebook in 2004 that really set his career in motion.