Stars the size of the Sun typically end their lives as tiny and faint white dwarf stars. But as they make the final transition into retirement their atmospheres are blown away into space.
The rate of star formation in the universe is now only one-thirtieth of its peak, says an international team of astronomers - and the decline is set to continue.
Most bright, massive stars have a companion star - in many cases with one a 'vampire' star sucking mass from the other, say astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT).
Long-theorized, but never before seen, the dark galaxies of the early universe have now been directly observed by ESO's Very large telescope (VLT).
Astronomers have used a new technique to study the atmosphere of a 'hot Jupiter' exoplanet.
Deep in the heart of the southern Milky Way lies a stellar nursery known as the Carina Nebula - located 7500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Carina (The Keel).
Astronomers have discovered the biggest star ever - more than 300 times the mass of the Sun, and twice as large as the generally accepted limit of 150 solar masses.