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Keyword: exoplanet

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  • It’s full of stars! NASA’s planet-hunting TESS probe sends back its first test image

    05/18/2018 8:01:22 PM PDT · by Simon Green · 21 replies
    Geekwire ^ | 05/18/18 | Alan Boyle
    One month after its launch, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has sent back an initial test image that shows more than 200,000 stars in the southern sky. TESS’ image was taken by one of its cameras with a two-second exposure. The picture is centered on the constellation Centaurus, with the edge of the dark Coalsack Nebula at upper right and the star Beta Centauri prominent along the lower edge. The picture provides only a hint of what TESS will be seeing once it starts delivering science-quality images next month. When all four wide-field cameras are in operation, TESS’ images...
  • SpaceX Does it Again; Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)launched

    04/18/2018 5:37:08 PM PDT · by Voption · 3 replies
    SpaceX ^ | April 18, 2018, 6:51 p.m. EDT | Elon Musk
    "SpaceX launched NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on Wednesday, April 18 from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The launch occurred at 6:51 p.m. EDT, or 22:51 UTC. TESS was deployed into a highly elliptical orbit approximately 49 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, SpaceX successfully landed Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Are you rocky or are you gassy? Astronomers unlock the mysteries of super-Earths

    02/08/2018 10:45:25 AM PST · by Red Badger · 20 replies
    phys.org ^ | 02-08-2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science
    An artist's impression of a stellar system with three super-Earths. Credit: ESO. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A star about 100 light years away in the Pisces constellation, GJ 9827, hosts what may be one of the most massive and dense super-Earth planets detected to date according to new research led by Carnegie's Johanna Teske. This new information provides evidence to help astronomers better understand the process by which such planets form. The GJ 9827 star actually hosts a trio of planets, discovered by NASA's exoplanet-hunting Kepler/K2 mission, and all three are slightly larger than Earth. This is the size that the Kepler...
  • TRAPPIST-1 Planets Are Even More Like Earth Than We Thought

    02/05/2018 1:59:12 PM PST · by Red Badger · 27 replies
    www.popularmechanics.com ^ | 02/05/2018 | By David Grossman
    The TRAPPIST-1 system is made up seven roughly Earth-sized planets orbiting a dwarf star around 39 light-years away and is often hailed as the most likely place for life outside our solar system that we know of. A new study offers further insight into each TRAPPIST planet's biological properties and the signs are encouraging. The new research comes from scientists around the globe, including University of Bern in Germany, the Sorbonne in France, Cambridge, NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston and others. Their paper, "The nature of TRAPPIST-1 Exoplanets," shows that the planets don't have an excess of hydrogen. This...
  • TRAPPIST-1 Planets Could Have Substantial Surface Water

    01/24/2018 11:42:04 AM PST · by Red Badger · 21 replies
    www.popularmechanics.com ^ | Jan 24, 2018 | By Jay Bennett
    According to a new study in Astronomy & Astrophysics, water could be common among the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The quest continues to learn more about the TRAPPIST-1 system, seven roughly Earth-sized planets orbiting a dwarf star about 39 light-years away. Whether life could exist on these planets is a matter of speculation at the moment, but scientists are honing in on measurements that could tell us if some of these alien worlds are habitable. The planets are rocky and some are the correct distance from their host star for liquid water, but they are probably tidally locked...
  • TRAPPIST-1 system planets potentially habitable

    01/23/2018 2:23:29 PM PST · by Red Badger · 32 replies
    phys.org ^ | 01/23/2018 | Planetary Science Institute
    A size comparison of the planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system, lined up in order of increasing distance from their host star. The planetary surfaces are portrayed with an artist’s impression of their potential surface features, including water, ice, and atmospheres. Amy Barr's paper “Interior Structures and Tidal Heating in the TRAPPIST-1 Planets” shows that planets d and e are the most likely to be habitable due to their moderate surface temperatures, modest amounts of tidal heating, and because their heat fluxes are low enough to avoid entering a runaway greenhouse state. Planet d is likely covered by a global water...
  • New telescope chip offers clear view of alien planets

    12/14/2016 12:52:18 PM PST · by Red Badger · 27 replies
    phys.org ^ | 12-06-2016 | by Will Wright & Provided by: Australian National University
    The new telescope chip. Credit: Stuart Hay, ANU ======================================================================================================================= Associate Professor Steve Madden. Credit: Australian National University =========================================================================================================================== Scientists have developed a new optical chip for a telescope that enables astronomers to have a clear view of alien planets that may support life. Seeing a planet outside the solar system which is close to its host sun, similar to Earth, is very difficult with today's standard astronomical instruments due to the brightness of the sun. Associate Professor Steve Madden from The Australian National University (ANU) said the new chip removes light from the host sun, allowing astronomers for the...
  • EARTH-LIKE PLANET AROUND PROXIMA CENTAURI DISCOVERED

    08/13/2016 8:51:10 PM PDT · by ckilmer · 144 replies
    the universe today ^ | 13 Aug , 2016 | by Matt Williams
    The hunt for exoplanets has been heating up in recent years. Since it began its mission in 2009, over four thousand exoplanet candidates discovered by the Kepler mission, several hundred of which have been confirmed to be “Earth-like” (i.e. terrestrial). And of these, some 216 planets have been shown to be both terrestrial and located within their parent star’s habitable zone (aka. “Goldilocks zone”).
  • Kepler confirms more than 100 planets in single trove

    07/18/2016 10:38:40 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 19 replies
    phys.org ^ | July 18, 2016 | Provided by: W. M. Keck Observatory
    Image montage showing the Maunakea Observatories, Kepler Space Telescope, and night sky with K2 Fields and discovered planetary systems (dots) overlaid. An international team of scientists discovered more than 100 planets based on images from Kepler operating in the 'K2 Mission'. The team confirmed and characterized the planets using a suite of telescopes worldwide, including four on Maunakea (the twin telescopes of Keck Observatory, the Gemini­North Telescope, and the Infrared Telescope Facility). The planet image on the right is an artist's impression of a representative planet. Credit: Karen Teramura (UHIfA) based on night sky image of the ecliptic plane by...
  • Astronomers discover new distant dwarf planet beyond Neptune

    07/12/2016 10:41:36 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 28 replies
    phys.org ^ | July 12, 2016 | Provided by: CFH Telescope
    Discovery images of RR245. The images show RR245's slow motion across the sky over three hours. Credit: OSSOS team ================================================================================================ An international team of astronomers have discovered a new dwarf planet orbiting in the disk of small icy worlds beyond Neptune. The new object is roughly 700 kilometers in size and has one of the largest orbits for a dwarf planet. Designated 2015 RR245 by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center, it was found using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Maunakea, Hawaii, as part of the ongoing Outer solar system Origins Survey (OSSOS). "The icy worlds beyond Neptune trace how...
  • Astronomers find giant planet around very young star

    05/26/2016 10:05:19 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 12 replies
    phys.org ^ | May 26, 2016 | Provided by: Rice University
    Astronomers used the Harlan J. Smith Telescope at the University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis, Texas, to search for a planet around star CI Tau. Credit: Ethan Tweedie Photography ================================================================================================== In contradiction to the long-standing idea that larger planets take longer to form, U.S. astronomers today announced the discovery of a giant planet in close orbit around a star so young that it still retains a disk of circumstellar gas and dust. "For decades, conventional wisdom held that large Jupiter-mass planets take a minimum of 10 million years to form," said Christopher Johns-Krull, the lead author...
  • Earth-like planet may exist in a nearby star system

    04/21/2016 10:25:04 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 25 replies
    phys.org ^ | April 19, 2016 | Tomasz Nowakowsk
    Artistic representation of the potentially habitable super-Earth Gliese 832c against a stellar nebula background. Credit: PHL @ UPR Arecibo, NASA Hubble, Stellarium. ========================================================================================================== An Earth-like planet may be lurking in a star system located just 16 light years away, according to a new research. The star, named Gliese 832, was recently investigated by a team of astronomers searching for additional exoplanets that may be residing between the two currently known alien worlds in this system. A paper detailing the finding was published online on Apr. 15 in the arXiv journal. Gliese 832 is a red dwarf and has just under...
  • Exoplanet Census Suggests Earth Is Special after All

    02/20/2016 12:04:01 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 6 replies
    Scientific American ^ | 2/19/16 | Shannon Hall
    Exoplanet Census Suggests Earth Is Special after All A new tally proposes that roughly 700 quintillion terrestrial exoplanets are likely to exist across the observable universe--most vastly different from Earth By Shannon Hall on February 19, 2016 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Email Print Share via Google+Stumble Upon NASA/ESA/ESO Advertisement More than 400 years ago Renaissance scientist Nicolaus Copernicus reduced us to near nothingness by showing that our planet is not the center of the solar system. With every subsequent scientific revolution, most other privileged positions in the universe humans might have held dear have been...
  • Astronomers say real-life 'death star' destroying faraway rocky object

    10/22/2015 1:02:05 AM PDT · by WhiskeyX · 20 replies
    Associated Press ^ | October 22, 2015 | Associated Press
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A white dwarf star in the Constellation Virgo turns out to be a "death star" worthy of "Star Wars." Astronomers announced Wednesday that they have discovered a rocky object coming apart in a death spiral around this distant star. They used NASA's exoplanet-hunting Kepler spacecraft to make the discovery, then followed up with ground observations. "This is something no human has seen before," said Andrew Vanderburg of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the lead author. "We're watching a solar system get destroyed," he said in a statement.
  • Astronomers find star with three super-Earths

    07/31/2015 10:02:33 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 29 replies
    phys.org ^ | July 30, 2015 | Staff
    This artist's rendition released by NASA on July 30, 2015 shows one possible appearance for the planet HD 219134b ======================================================================================================================== Astronomers said Thursday they had found a planetary system with three super-Earths orbiting a bright, dwarf star—one of them likely a volcanic world of molten rock. The four-planet system had been hiding out in the M-shaped, northern hemisphere constellation Cassiopeia, "just" 21 light years from Earth, a team reported in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. It comprises four planets—one giant and three super-Earths orbiting a star dubbed HD219134. Super-Earths have a mass higher than Earth's but are lighter than gas...
  • Breaking: Discovery of ‘Habitable’ Earth-Like Planet Announced

    07/23/2015 11:38:14 AM PDT · by ckilmer · 80 replies
    observer.com ^ | 07/23/15 12:20pm | Robin Seemangal
    Breaking: Discovery of ‘Habitable’ Earth-Like Planet Announced The Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute and planet hunters from The National Aeronautics and Space Administration have made a startling discovery while exploring the Milky Way Galaxy By Robin Seemangal | 07/23/15 12:20pm  Comment Artist’s concept depicts the earth-like planet Kepler-452b (NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle) The SETI Institute and NASA have confirmed the discovery of Kepler 452b, the most Earth-like planet ever encountered. Located in the Goldilocks zone of its host star, this planet would have “just the right” conditions to support liquid water and possibly even life. This extraordinary world was spotted by...
  • Jupiter twin discovered around solar twin

    07/15/2015 1:51:26 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 8 replies
    Phys. Org ^ | 07-15-15 | Provided by: ESO
    Artist's impression showing a newly discovered Jupiter twin gas giant orbiting the solar twin star, HIP 11915. The planet is of a very similar mass to Jupiter and orbits at the same distance from its star as Jupiter does from the Sun. This, together with HIP 11915's Sun-like composition, hints at the possibility of the system of planets orbiting HIP 11915 bearing a resemblance to our own Solar System, with smaller rocky planets orbiting closer to the host star. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser ============================================================================================ Astronomers have used the ESO 3.6-metre telescope to identify a planet just like Jupiter orbiting at the...
  • A Remarkable Direct Image Of A Nearby Super-Jupiter

    05/11/2015 1:38:31 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 33 replies
    io9 ^ | George Dvorsky
    Typically, exoplanets are observed indirectly using such techniques as the transit method, or by measuring changes in the radial velocity of host stars. In the vast majority of cases, astronomers aren’t able to detect the light from these planets due to their extreme distance from observational equipment. But VHS J1256b—a gas giant located 40 light-years from Earth—is close enough, bright enough, and distant enough from its host star to be seen and distinguished by our telescopes. The direct image of VHS J1256b, along with its spectral signature, was acquired by scientists at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canaries (IAC),...
  • New exoplanet too big for its stars

    05/01/2015 9:10:45 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 40 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 05/01/2015 | Provided by Australian National University
    The Australian discovery of a strange exoplanet orbiting a small cool star 500 light years away is challenging ideas about how planets form. "We have found a small star, with a giant planet the size of Jupiter, orbiting very closely," said researcher George Zhou from the Research School of Astrophysics and Astronomy. "It must have formed further out and migrated in, but our theories can't explain how this happened." In the past two decades more than 1,800 extrasolar planets (or exoplanets) have been discovered outside our solar system orbiting around other stars. The host star of the latest exoplanet, HATS-6,...
  • Planet spotted deep within our galaxy: One of the most distant planets known

    04/19/2015 4:46:01 AM PDT · by WhiskeyX · 12 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | April 14, 2015 | Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has teamed up with a telescope on the ground to find a remote gas planet about 13,000 light-years away, making it one of the most distant planets known.