Keyword: exoplanet

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    08/13/2016 8:51:10 PM PDT · by ckilmer · 143 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 ďEarth-likeĒ (i.e. terrestrial). And of these, some 216 planets have been shown to be both terrestrial and located within their parent starís habitable zone (aka. ďGoldilocks zoneĒ).
  • Kepler confirms more than 100 planets in single trove

    07/18/2016 10:38:40 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 19 replies ^ | 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 Gemini≠North 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 · 27 replies ^ | 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 ^ | 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 ^ | 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. Ė 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 ^ | 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 staróone 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 planetsóone 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 ĎHabitableí Earth-Like Planet Announced

    07/23/2015 11:38:14 AM PDT · by ckilmer · 80 replies ^ | 07/23/15 12:20pm | Robin Seemangal
    Breaking: Discovery of ‚ÄėHabitable‚Äô 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‚Äôs 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 ‚Äújust the right‚ÄĚ 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 arenít able to detect the light from these planets due to their extreme distance from observational equipment. But VHS J1256bóa gas giant located 40 light-years from Earthóis 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.
  • Laser 'ruler' holds promise for hunting exoplanets

    02/18/2015 6:20:37 AM PST · by Red Badger · 5 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 02-17-2015 | Provided by Institute of Physics
    The hunt for Earth-like planets around distant stars could soon become a lot easier thanks to a technique developed by researchers in Germany. In a paper published today, 18 February, in the New Journal of Physics, the team of researchers have successfully demonstrated how a solar telescope can be combined with a piece of technology that has already taken the physics world by stormóthe laser frequency comb (LFC). It is expected the technique will allow a spectral analysis of distant stars with unprecedented accuracy, as well as advance research in other areas of astrophysics, such as detailed observations of the...
  • NASA's Kepler spacecraft finds first alien planet of new mission

    12/19/2014 6:12:01 AM PST · by Red Badger · 19 replies ^ | Published December 19, 2014 | By Mike Wall
    NASA's Kepler space telescope is discovering alien planets again. The prolific spacecraft has spotted its first new alien planet since being hobbled by a malfunction in May 2013, researchers announced Dec. 18. The newly discovered world, called HIP 116454b, is a "super Earth" about 2.5 times larger than our home planet. It lies 180 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Pisces ó close enough to be studied by other instruments, scientists said. "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Kepler has been reborn and is continuing to make discoveries," study lead author Andrew Vanderburg, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics...
  • Newfound pink world lurks at solar system fringes

    03/26/2014 12:06:45 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 45 replies ^ | 03-26-2014 | By ALICIA CHANG
    <p>LOS ANGELES (AP) ó Peering into the far reaches of the solar system, astronomers have spied a pink frozen world 7Ĺ billion miles from the sun.</p> <p>It's the second such object to be discovered in a region of space beyond Pluto long considered a celestial wasteland. Until now, the lone known resident in this part of the solar system was an oddball dwarf planet spotted in 2003 named Sedna after the mythological Inuit goddess who created the sea creatures of the Arctic.</p>
  • Has Nasa found a new Earth? Astronomer discovers first same-sized planet in a 'Goldilocks zone' ...

    03/25/2014 10:32:40 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 75 replies ^ | PUBLISHED: 08:57 EST, 24 March 2014 | UPDATED: 10:03 EST, 24 March 2014 | By Victoria Woollaston
    The host star hasnít been named but was identified as an M1 dwarf M dwarfs make up 70% of stars in the galaxy and are smaller than our sun Nasa astronomers found a total of five planets orbiting this unnamed host The outermost planet sits in the starís habitable zone and may have liquid water on its surface This so-called goldilocks planet is believed to be 1.1 times the size of Earth Until now, the most Earth-like planet was Kepler-62f - 1.4 times the size Details of the new star system are due to be announced later this year The...
  • Top exoplanet finds of 2013

    01/04/2014 9:14:30 AM PST · by Farnsworth · 11 replies
    Science News ^ | Dec 28, 2013 | Ashley Yeager
    1. The Earthiest Kepler-78b is most similar to Earth in mass, diameter and composition; it could be made of rock with an iron core. But itís no Earth analog, whizzing around its star in 8.5 hours, with temperatures exceeding 2,000į Celsius (SN Online: 10/30/13). 2. The wettest HR 8799cís atmosphere lacks methane, which could signal life, but does have water and carbon monoxide (SN: 4/6/13, p. 5). Water has also been found in the atmospheres of WASP-17b, HD209458b, WASP-12b, WASP-19b and XO-1b. 3. The rogue Planetary candidate PSO J318.5-22 has no parent star. The object is roughly six times the...
  • How NASA revived the Kepler Space Telescope

    11/27/2013 1:31:42 PM PST · by Red Badger · 4 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 11-26-2013 | Staff (Provided by NASA)
    You may have thought that NASA's Kepler spacecraft was finished. Well, think again. A repurposed Kepler Space telescope may soon start searching the sky again. A new mission concept, dubbed K2, would continue Kepler's search for other worlds, and introduce new opportunities to observe star clusters, young and old stars, active galaxies and supernovae. In May, the Kepler spacecraft lost the second of four gyroscope-like reaction wheels, which are used to precisely point the spacecraft, ending new data collection for the original mission. The spacecraft required three functioning wheels to maintain the precision pointing necessary to detect the signal of...
  • Tiny fireball exoplanet completes one year in 8.5 hours

    08/20/2013 11:32:49 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 29 replies
    The Register ^ | 19th August 2013 | Neil McAllister
    Molten sphere could give clues to planetary mass Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have discovered a new, Earth-sized exoplanet for which orbiting its star is literally all in a day's work.The newly discovered planet, dubbed Kepler 78b, completes one full revolution around its star in just 8.5 hours Ė fast enough that by the time you clock in at the office and clock out again, another solar year will have passed for Kepler 78b. To achieve this rapid orbital period, the planet revolves around its star at a distance 40 times closer than Mercury is to our sun.As...
  • Super-SVELTE BLUSH-PINK planet goes too far with star

    08/06/2013 11:25:08 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 9 replies
    The Register ^ | 6th August 2013 | Brid-Aine Parnell,
    Low-mass Jupiter-like exoplanet challenges planetary formation theory Astronomers have detected a low-mass giant planet that challenges existing theories about how bigger worlds are formed.Artist's impression ... the Jupiter-like low-mass exoplanet GJ 504b The Jupiter-sized world, dubbed GJ 504b, was found much further out in its star's orbit than a planet its size should have been, if you go by existing planet-formation theory.GJ 504b weighs in at around four times Jupiter's mass, and is the lowest mass exoplanet* to be imaged orbiting a Sun-like star using direct imaging techniques.Given its similarity to Jupiter's size, NASA boffins were surprised to find that...
  • Hint of 150 MHz radio emission from the Neptune-mass extrasolar transiting planet HAT-P-11b

    02/25/2013 10:34:07 AM PST · by Red Badger · 57 replies
    Next Big Future ^ | 2/24/2013 | Brian Wang
    ince the radio-frequency emission from planets is expected to be strongly inÔ¨āuenced by their interaction with the magnetic Ô¨Āeld and corona of the host star, the physics of this process can be eÔ¨Äectively constrained by making sensitive measurements of the planetary radio emission. Up to now, however, numerous searches for radio emission from extrasolar planets at radio wavelengths have only yielded negative results. Here we report deep radio observations of the nearby Neptune-mass extrasolar transiting planet HAT-P-11b at 150 MHz, using the Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT). On July 16, 2009, we detected a 3ŌÉ emission whose light curve is...
  • Tau Ceti's planets nearest around single, Sun-like star

    12/19/2012 6:30:24 AM PST · by Red Badger · 33 replies
    BBC ^ | 19 December 2012 Last updated at 00:32 ET | Staff
    The nearest single Sun-like star to the Earth hosts five planets - one of which is in the "habitable zone" where liquid water can exist, astronomers say. Tau Ceti's planetary quintet - reported in an online paper that will appear in Astronomy and Astrophysics - was found in existing planet-hunting data. The study's refined methods of sifting through data should help find even more far-flung worlds. The star now joins Alpha Centauri as a nearby star known to host planets. In both those cases, the planets were found not by spying them through a telescope but rather by measuring the...
  • NASA's Kepler Mission Confirms Its First Planet in Habitable Zone of Sun-like Star

    12/05/2011 10:46:16 AM PST · by Dallas59 · 45 replies
    NASA ^ | 12/5/2011 | NASA
    NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed its first planet in the "habitable zone," the region where liquid water could exist on a planetís surface. Kepler also has discovered more than 1,000 new planet candidates, nearly doubling its previously known count. Ten of these candidates are near-Earth-size and orbit in the habitable zone of their host star. Candidates require follow-up observations to verify they are actual planets. The newly confirmed planet, Kepler-22b, is the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. The planet is about 2.4 times the radius...
  • NASA Spacecraft Discovers Planet Orbiting 2 Suns, Just Like Star Wars

    09/16/2011 9:18:07 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 24 replies
    CBS ^ | September 15, 2011 6:24 PM | Matt Bigler
    >Ames Research Center, Circumbinary Planet, Matt Bigler, Mountain View, NASA, NASA Ames, Star Wars, Tatooine, Two Suns MOUNTAIN VIEW (CBS SF) Ė The National Aeronautics and Space Administrationís Kepler spacecraft has found a planet that orbits two stars just as Luke Skywalkerís home world does in the Star Wars movies, NASA announced Thursday.An orange sun and a red sun that actually orbit each other define daytime on Kepler 16b, the 21st planet outside our own solar system discovered by† planet hunter.KCBSí Matt Bigler Reports: NASA Discovery Sure To Excite Star Wars Fans The resemblance between the newest exo-planet and the...
  • Prepare for the Lord's Return! 5 Days in Heaven and Hell

    02/28/2011 10:25:53 AM PST · by Quix · 384 replies · 2+ views
    QUIX: SHORT EXCERPTS ARE OFFERED IN A SORT OF EXECUTIVE SUMMARY FIRST--THEN THE ENTIRE NARRATIVE AS AVAILABLE AT SPIRITLESSONS.COM I found this to be another anointed, Biblical narrative about a very convincing Heavenly visitation--actually, as usual, to hell, too. There's an item or 3 in this one to potentially trouble the RC's and Maryolators, . . . as well as some potentially troubling things for some Calvinists, however. Read at your own risk. Those exposed to The Truth are responsible before God for what they do about and with The Truth.On the other hand, ignorance affords no eternal protection....
  • 2011 preview: Expect Earth's Twin Planet

    12/21/2010 3:23:40 PM PST · by Dallas59 · 29 replies · 1+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 12/21/2010 | New Scientist
    In 2010, one new exoplanet appeared every four days or so; by the end of the year, the total topped 500. But in September, a truly exceptional find punctuated this steady drumbeat of discovery: the first alien planet that could host life on its surface. Gliese 581 g, spotted by a team led by Steven Vogt of the University of California, Santa Cruz, inhabits a "Goldilocks" zone around its host star, a band just warm enough to boast liquid water. At 3.1 to 4.3 times the mass of Earth, it is also small enough that it should be made...
  • Odds of Life on Nearby Planet '100 Percent,' Astronomer Says

    09/30/2010 4:04:03 PM PDT · by Dallas59 · 92 replies
    Fox News ^ | 9/30/2010 | Fox News
    An Earth-size planet has been spotted orbiting a nearby star at a distance that would makes it not too hot and not too cold -- comfortable enough for life to exist, researchers announced Wednesday. If confirmed, the exoplanet, named Gliese 581g, would be the first Earth-like world found residing in a star's habitable zone -- a region where a planet's temperature could sustain liquid water on its surface.[Illustration of planet Gliese 581g.] And the planet's discoverers are optimistic about the prospects for finding life there. "Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever it can, I...
  • Newly Discovered Planet May be First Truly Habitable Exoplanet

    09/29/2010 9:09:27 PM PDT · by Dallas59 · 44 replies
    Santa Clara U. ^ | 9/29/2010 | Tim Stephens
    A team of planet hunters led by astronomers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington has announced the discovery of an Earth-sized planet (three times the mass of Earth) orbiting a nearby star at a distance that places it squarely in the middle of the star's "habitable zone," where liquid water could exist on the planet's surface. If confirmed, this would be the most Earth-like exoplanet yet discovered and the first strong case for a potentially habitable one. To astronomers, a "potentially habitable" planet is one that could sustain life, not necessarily one...
  • How We Found Hundreds of Earth-Like Planets-Video (Several Hundred Have Been Found)

    07/23/2010 12:36:35 AM PDT · by Dallas59 · 28 replies · 1+ views
    TED ^ | 7/25/2010 | TED
    Astronomer Dimitar Sasselov and his colleagues search for Earth-like planets that may, someday, help us answer centuries-old questions about the origin and existence of biological life elsewhere (and on Earth). How many such planets have they found already? Several hundreds.
  • New Worlds to Explore? Kepler Spacecraft Finds 750 Exoplanet Candidates

    06/18/2010 11:47:21 AM PDT · by Dallas59 · 15 replies · 308+ views
    Universe Today ^ | 6/15/2010 | Nancy Atkinson
    The Kepler spacecraft has found over 750 candidates for extrasolar planets, and that is just from data collected in the first 43 days of the spacecraft's observations. "This is the biggest release of candidate planets that has ever happened," said William Borucki, Kepler's lead scientist. "The number of candidate planets is actually greater than all the planets that have been discovered in the last 15 years." This is an astounding amount of potential exoplanets from data taken during such a short period of time, however Borucki added that they expect only about 50% of these candidates to actually turn...
  • Finding Earth's Twin: No Easy Task

    03/02/2010 5:29:57 PM PST · by KevinDavis · 15 replies · 286+ views
    Astrobiology Magazine ^ | 03/02/10 | Henry Bortman
    Does our galaxy contain twins of Earth: rocky planets, orbiting sun-like stars at comfortable distances, capable of supporting life? That is the million-dollar question for exoplanet hunters. NASA is about to launch an orbiting telescope designed to find an answer. Its name is Kepler. Kepler, scheduled for launch on March 6, 2009, will observe a field of 100,000 stars in the Cygnus-Lyra region of the sky, searching for planets by looking for their transits. A transit occurs when a planet passes in front of the star it orbits, causing the starís brightness to dim temporarily. The amount of dimming that...
  • Cannibal star is eating a planet, astronomers say

    02/24/2010 4:12:41 PM PST · by rdl6989 · 14 replies · 482+ views ^ | Feb 24, 2010
    A star 600 light years from Earth is slowly devouring one of its own planets, according to a study released on Wednesday. The planet, the discovery of which was reported last year, is a "gas giant" with a mass about 40 per cent greater than that of Jupiter, the biggest planet of our Solar System, and with a radius 79 per cent bigger. But whereas Jupiter takes nearly 12 years to plod around the Sun, it takes WASP-12b a mere 26 hours to race around its star, WASP-12, located in the constellation of Auriga.
  • We will find 'twins of Earth' this year, says astronomer Michel Mayor

    01/25/2010 7:13:50 PM PST · by KevinDavis · 18 replies · 515+ views
    Times Online ^ | 01/25/10 | Hannah Devlin
    Scientists will have detected the first truly Earth-like planet outside the solar system by the end of the year, one of the worldís leading astronomers predicted yesterday
  • Sun Glints Seen from Space Signal Oceans and Lakes

    01/11/2010 7:05:29 PM PST · by KevinDavis · 10 replies · 525+ views
    NASA ^ | 01/05/10
    In two new videos from NASAís Deep Impact spacecraft, bright flashes of light known as sun glints act as beacons signaling large bodies of water on Earth. These observations give scientists a way to pick out planets beyond our solar system (extrasolar planets) that are likely to have expanses of liquid, and so stand a better chance of having life. These sun glints are like sunshine glancing off the hood of a car. We can see them reflecting off a smooth surface when we are positioned in just the right way with respect to the sun and the smooth surface....
  • Kepler Planet-Hunting Mission Finds 5 New Lightweight Worlds

    01/04/2010 4:34:21 PM PST · by KevinDavis · 22 replies · 869+ views ^ | 01/04/10 | Andrea Thompson
    WASHINGTON ó The list of known exoplanets in the galaxy just got bigger, thanks to the first observations of NASA's Kepler space telescope, which found five new lightweight worlds orbiting distant stars. "I would like to announce today the discovery of five exoplanets by Kepler," said Kepler science director William Borucki of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., here today at the 215th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
  • Astronomers Add at Least 4 New Low-Mass Planets to Their Posse

    12/15/2009 6:40:11 AM PST · by Dallas59 · 2 replies · 285+ views
    Discover ^ | 12/14/2009 | Discover
    Astronomers announced today the discovery of at least four ó and as many as six ó planets orbiting two nearby stars. These planets are relatively low mass, ranging from 5 to 25 times the mass of the Earth. For comparison, Jupiter is over 300 times more massive than the Earth, and Uranus 15 times our mass. Three of these extrasolar planets orbit the nearby star 61 Virginis, which is only about 28 light years away (thatís a stoneís throw in galactic terms). 61 Vir has been a target for planet hunters for some time because itís very much like our...
  • Lots More Planets Found Outside Solar System (32 More Planets, Total 400)

    10/19/2009 7:11:29 AM PDT · by Dallas59 · 40 replies · 1,685+ views
    Yahoo News ^ | Yahoo News
    <p>WASHINGTON Ė Astronomers have found 32 new planets outside our solar system, adding evidence to the theory that the universe has many places where life could develop.</p> <p>Scientists using European Southern Observatory telescopes didn't find any planets quite the size of Earth or any that seemed habitable or even unusual. But their announcement increased the number of planets discovered outside the solar system to more than 400.</p>
  • "Significant Discovery" in Exoplanet Research

    10/15/2009 5:30:45 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 9 replies · 679+ views
    Space Coalition Blog ^ | 10/15/09 | Leonard David
    Stand by for yet another "significant discovery" in the field of exoplanets. That's the word that will come out next week from an international gathering of exoplanet experts during a conference in Porto, Portugal. The new finding makes use of the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher. Called HARPS for short, this device is a spectrograph for use with ESO's 3.6-meter telescope. B The noteworthy revelation is to be announced on Monday, October 19. Detailing the finding will be Stephane Udry of the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland, Xavier Bonfils of the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble in...
  • First Solid Evidence for a Rocky Exoplanet

    09/20/2009 2:53:01 PM PDT · by Dallas59 · 9 replies · 634+ views
    Mass and density of smallest exoplanet finally measured The longest set of HARPS measurements ever made has firmly established the nature of the smallest and fastest-orbiting exoplanet known, CoRoT-7b, revealing its mass as five times that of Earth's. Combined with CoRoT-7b's known radius, which is less than twice that of our terrestrial home, this tells us that the exoplanet's density is quite similar to the Earth's, suggesting a solid, rocky world. The extensive dataset also reveals the presence of another so-called super-Earth in this alien solar system. "This is science at its thrilling and amazing best," says Didier Queloz,...
  • Baby Stars Found in Galactic Center

    06/14/2009 6:24:19 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 4 replies · 368+ views on Yahoo ^ | 6/13/09 | Andrea Thompson
    PASADENA, CALIF. ó Baby stars have at last been found in the harsh environment at the center of the Milky Way, astronomers said here this week at the 214th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. These are "stars that have just ignited their core and they are just starting to produce light. So it is a very early phase in the star formation process," said team member Solange Ramirez of NASA's Exoplanet Science Institute at Caltech. The heart of our galaxy is an extreme environment, with fierce stellar winds, shock waves and a core supermassive black hole all packed into...
  • Scientists discover a nearly Earth-sized planet (smallest exoplanet ever, called Gliese 581 e)

    04/21/2009 11:23:19 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 16 replies · 897+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 4/21/09 | Jennifer Quinn and Seth Borenstein - AP
    HATFIELD, England Ė In the search for Earth-like planets, astronomers zeroed in Tuesday on two places that look awfully familiar to home. One is close to the right size. The other is in the right place. European researchers said they not only found the smallest exoplanet ever, called Gliese 581 e, but realized that a neighboring planet discovered earlier, Gliese 581 d, was in the prime habitable zone for potential life. ... An American expert called the discovery of the tiny planet "extraordinary."
  • Galaxy has 'billions of Earths

    02/15/2009 7:53:31 PM PST · by Bringbackthedraft · 89 replies · 1,848+ views
    BBC ^ | 15 February 2009 | NS
    There could be one hundred billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy, a US conference has heard.
  • Nearest Star System Might Harbor Earth Twin

    03/07/2008 2:28:00 PM PST · by jmcenanly · 23 replies · 372+ views ^ | 07 March 2008 | Andrea Thompson
    Earth may have a twin orbiting one of our nearest stellar neighbors, a new study suggests. University of California, Santa Cruz graduate student Javiera Guedes used computer simulations of planet formation to show that terrestrial planets are likely to have formed around one of the stars in the Alpha Centauri star system, our closest stellar neighbors. Guedes' model showed planets forming around the star Alpha Centauri B (its sister star, Proxima Centauri, is actually our nearest neighbor) in what is called the "habitable zone," or the region around a star where liquid water can exist on a planet's surface. The...
  • Planet of Promise: Small, Rocky World Could Harbor Life

    05/17/2007 7:49:21 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 16 replies · 394+ views ^ | 05/17/07 | Seth Shostak
    For the first time, astronomers have discovered a planet far, far away that might be similar to Earth. This distant world, which pirouettes around a dim bulb of a star with the unglamorous name Gliese 581, may possibly sport a landscape that would be vaguely familiar to us - a panorama of liquid oceans and drifting continents. If so, there's the chance that it's a home to life - perhaps even advanced life. It's been a dozen years since the first planet around a star other than the Sun was uncovered. Since then, small teams of astronomers have been flushing...
  • Exoplanet Discovery

    They don't have the transcript up yet, but the audio file is available for those interested.
  • New 'super-Earth' found in space [planet found]

    04/25/2007 3:07:03 AM PDT · by FostersExport · 68 replies · 3,055+ views
    BBC News ^ | Wednesday, 25 April 2007 | BBC News
    Astronomers have found the most Earth-like planet outside our Solar System to date, a world which could have water running on its surface. The planet orbits the faint star Gliese 581, which is 20.5 light-years away in the constellation Libra. Scientists made the discovery using the Eso 3.6m Telescope in Chile. They say the benign temperatures on the planet mean any water there could exist in liquid form, and this raises the chances it could also harbour life. "We have estimated that the mean temperature of this 'super-Earth' lies between 0 and 40 degrees Celsius, and water would thus be...
  • First habitable Earth like planet outside Solar System discovered

    04/24/2007 1:41:01 PM PDT · by Sopater · 190 replies · 5,989+ views ^ | April 24, 2007
    Munich, April 24: An international team of astronomers from Switzerland, France and Portugal have discovered the most Earth-like planet outside our Solar System to date. The planet has a radius only 50 percent larger than Earth and is very likely to contain liquid water on its surface. The research team used the European Southern Observatoryís (ESOís) 3.6-m telescope to discover the super-Earth, which has a mass about five times that of the Earth and orbits a red dwarf already known to harbour a Neptune-mass planet. Astronomers believe there is a strong possibility in the presence of a third planet with...
  • Optical Device Cancels Starlight So Astronomers Can See Distant Planets

    03/01/2006 4:07:08 PM PST · by KevinDavis · 5 replies · 407+ views
    University of Arizona ^ | 02/28/06 | Lori Stiles
    "Some people say that I study darkness, not optics," jokes Grover Swartzlander. But it's a kind of darkness that will allow astronomers to see the light. Swartzlander, an associate professor in The University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences, is developing devices that block out dazzling starlight, allowing astronomers to study planets in nearby solar systems.
  • Prof wins NASA grant to study planetary system

    03/01/2006 4:04:23 PM PST · by KevinDavis · 2 replies · 204+ views
    8:48 a.m., Feb. 28, 2006--A University of Delaware scientist has received a three-year, $241,000 grant from the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) to study a developing planetary system about 180 light-years from Earth. John E. Gizis, UD assistant professor of physics and astronomy, was awarded the grant through NASA's Origins of Solar Systems program, which supports scientific investigations related to understanding the formation and early evolution of planetary systems, and to provide the fundamental research and analysis necessary to detect and characterize other planetary systems. The research also supports NASA's Vision for Space Exploration program, a long-term plan to...