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A timely discovery by American amateur astronomer Jay McNeil, followed immediately by observations at the Gemini Observatory, has provided a rare glimpse into the slow, yet violent birth of a star about 1,500 light-years away. The resulting findings reveal some of the strongest stellar winds ever detected around an embryonic Sun-like star.
Like a doctor trying to understand an elderly patient's sudden demise, astronomers have obtained the most detailed observations ever of an old but otherwise normal massive star just before and after its life ended in a spectacular supernova explosion.
Verne Smith of the University of Texas El Paso led an international team of American, Canadian, Brazilian and Japanese astronomers to a detailed study of the physical properties of the recently discovered nearby brown dwarf companion to Epsilon Indi, the fifth brightest star of the southern hemisphere constellation Indus.
Daniel Stern of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and his USA-UK-Chile team of astronomers (including Gemini-South Astronomer Michael Ledlow) used the visiting instrument FLAMINGOS, a multi-object near infrared spectrograph at Gemini South to study the high redshift quasar SDSS J083643.85+005453.3 (SDSS J0836+0054). SDSS refers to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, where the quasar was first discovered. The authors report