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Keyword: xplanets

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  • Strange bacteria found on South American volcanoes

    06/13/2012 6:31:04 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 10 replies
    watts Up With That? ^ | June 10, 2012 | Anthony Watts
    From the University of Colorado at Boulder, proof that life can inhabit just about anywhere. CU-Boulder-led team finds microbes in extreme environment on South American volcanoesA CU-Boulder-led team has discovered some rare, primitive microorganisms on high volcanoes in South America that may be fueled by drifting gases in the region rather than photosynthesis. Credit: University of Colorado A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder looking for organisms that eke out a living in some of the most inhospitable soils on Earth has found a hardy few.A new DNA analysis of rocky soils in the Martian-like landscape on some...
  • Alien Earths May Be Widespread in Our Milky Way Galaxy

    06/13/2012 4:50:57 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 35 replies ^ | 06/13/12 | Mike Wall
    Small, rocky planets can coalesce around a wide variety of stars, suggesting that Earth-like alien worlds may have formed early and often throughout our Milky Way galaxy's history, a new study reveals.
  • Freeman Dyson: Science on the Rampage

    05/09/2012 10:28:59 AM PDT · by neverdem · 37 replies
    New York Review of Books ^ | April 5, 2012 | Freeman Dyson
    Physics on the Fringe: Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything by Margaret Wertheim Walker, 323 pp., $27.00                                                   Pierpont Morgan Library/Art Resource An engraving by William Blake from The Song of Los, 1795 Physics on the Fringe describes work done by amateurs, people rejected by the academic establishment and rejecting orthodox academic beliefs. They are often self-taught and ignorant of higher mathematics. Mathematics is the language spoken by the professionals. The amateurs offer an...
  • Asteroid or glitch? Google Sky user spots strange, undiscovered glowing rock in our solar system

    06/07/2012 6:40:47 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 70 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | Tuesday, June 5, 2012 | Eddie Wrenn
    Youtube user planetkrejci, who has investigated other anomalies on NASA pictures, claims the object -- found using the Google website which transports the heavens to desktop computers and smartphones -- is an asteroid which is heading towards Earth. He says the asteroid -- which, if real, has not been spotted by other scientists or astronomers -- has only appeared recently on Google Sky, which receives updated images every few months. Announcing his find on YouTube, he says the black object, mottled with green spots, is so clear that it must be within the solar system. The user had been exploring...
  • Universe has more hydrogen than we thought (Undark’ matter hidden in plain view)

    06/02/2012 11:45:49 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 26 replies
    The Register ^ | 31st May 2012 23:59 GMT | Richard Chirgwin
    A re-analysis of radio telescope observations from three countries has yielded a surprising result: nearby galaxies harbour one-third more hydrogen than had previously been estimated. While nothing like enough matter to solve physics’ “dark matter” problem, the work by CSIRO astronomer Dr Robert Braun (chief scientist at the agency’s Astronomy and Space Science division in Sydney) also helps explain why the rate of star formation has slowed down. While there’s more hydrogen than astronomers had thought, its distribution makes star formation more difficult. Andromeda – the galaxy headed for a catastrophic collision with our own in about four billion years...
  • Newfound exoplanet may turn to dust

    06/03/2012 1:51:51 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    Science Blog ^ | May 21, 2012 | unattributed
    Researchers at MIT, NASA and elsewhere have detected a possible planet, some 1,500 light years away, that appears to be evaporating under the blistering heat of its parent star. The scientists infer that a long tail of debris -- much like the tail of a comet -- is following the planet, and that this tail may tell the story of the planet's disintegration. According to the team's calculations, the tiny exoplanet, not much larger than Mercury, will completely disintegrate within 100 million years. The team found that the dusty planet circles its parent star every 15 hours -- one of...
  • Laser frequency combs aid the search for exoplanets

    06/03/2012 1:42:26 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    Laser Focus World ^ | Saturday, June 2, 2012 | John Wallace
    A team of scientists headed by Theodor Hänsch from the Laser Spectroscopy Division at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics has collaborated with researchers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, and Menlo Systems GmbH (Martinsried) in modifying the optical frequency-comb technique in a way that it can be applied for the calibration of astronomical spectrographs. Hänsch is one of the inventors of the optical frequency comb. The new instrument has been tested successfully with the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS), a spectrograph at the 3.6 m telescope at the La Silla...
  • Milky Way Galaxy Doomed to Head-On Crash with Andromeda (We'Re DooMed In 4 billion years Alert!! )

    05/31/2012 6:54:00 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 73 replies ^ | 5/31/12 | Mike Wall
    Four billion years from now, the Milky Way galaxy as we know it will cease to exist. Our Milky Way is bound for a head-on collision with the similar-sized Andromeda galaxy, researchers announced today (May 31). Over time, the huge galactic smashup will create an entirely new hybrid galaxy, one likely bearing an elliptical shape rather than the Milky Way's trademark spiral-armed disk. "We do know of other galaxies in the local universe around us that are in the process of colliding and merging," Roeland van der Marel, of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, told reporters today. "However,...
  • SETI Astronomer Jill Tarter Retiring After 35-Year Alien Hunt

    05/23/2012 4:26:04 AM PDT · by iowamark · 59 replies ^ | 22 May 2012 | Mike Wall
    Astronomer Jill Tarter, the inspiration for heroine Ellie Arroway in the novel and movie "Contact," is retiring after spending 35 years scanning the heavens for signals from intelligent aliens. Tarter is stepping down as the director of the Center for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Research at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., the organization's officials announced today (May 22). But rather than go lie on a beach somewhere,Tarter will continue to devote herself to the search for E.T. She's shifting into a full-time fundraising role for the SETI Institute, which had to shut down a set of alien-hunting...
  • Planetary wrecking balls: how Jupiter might have destroyed Earth

    05/20/2012 8:45:06 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    Christian Science Monitor ^ | May 08, 2012 | Pete Spotts
    Gas giants orbiting other stars at distances that would fall well inside of Mercury's orbit were the first extrasolar planets discovered. Because of their mass and their close-in orbit, hot Jupiters' effects on their parent stars are more pronounced than in other systems. Once researchers had identified these planets as gas giants, the chin-scratching began. In our solar system, Jupiter and the other outer gas planets formed beyond what researchers have dubbed the solar system's frost line: a region in the early sun's disk of dust and gas where water, ammonia, methane, and other hydrogen-bearing compounds freeze into ice grains....
  • Two Earth-sized worlds created by planet-splitting red giant star

    05/20/2012 8:23:30 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    Huliq ^ | Tuesday, May 15, 2012 | Norman Byrd
    Two Earth-sized planets circle a red giant star. By what is generally known about star evolution, they should not exist in such close proximity to their parent star. But a new theory suggests that they may have once been part of a massive gas giant that not only was ripped apart by the parent star but also helped the parent shed excess gas, allowing them to survive. Some of the work astronomers do gravitates toward the theoretical, as when they attempt to explain certain anomalous conditions or the presence of phenomena. Such was the case when two Earth-sized planets were...
  • Subaru-Led Team Discovers a Rare Stellar Disk of Quartz Dust

    05/20/2012 8:19:33 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    Space Daily ^ | Wednesday, May 9, 2012 | Staff Writers
    Based on observations with the AKARI and Spitzer infrared space telescopes, this recently discovered, intriguing feature of a stellar system may open new doors for research on the mineralogical nature of extrasolar planetary systems... The team of scientists led by Dr. Fujiwara conducted research exploring this new frontier and concentrated their efforts on finding debris disks that could indicate planet formation. According to a widely accepted recent scenario of planet formation, rocky planets like the Earth begin as an aggregation of cosmic dust and then continued their development as an accumulation of planetesimals, rocky planetary building blocks, around young stars....
  • Hubble takes first image of solar eclipse on Uranus

    09/02/2006 3:19:24 AM PDT · by Virginia-American · 58 replies · 1,467+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 01 September 2006 | Maggie McKee
    A tiny moon has been caught floating in front of Uranus for the first time, the Hubble Space Telescope reveals. The moon's shadow can also be seen on the planet's cloud tops, creating a solar eclipse on Uranus itself. Hubble imaged the event unexpectedly in July 2006, during a set of observations meant to study the planet's clouds. "When we first got this image back, we looked at it and said, 'What's that bright spot and that dark spot?'" says team member Heidi Hammel of the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, US. "We thought, it must be a problem...
  • 'Superflares' erupt on some Sun-like stars (Much larger than our SUN)

    05/18/2012 11:24:14 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 5 replies
    Nature ^ | 16 May 2012 | Maggie McKee
    Superflares (white area) arise from starspots (dark areas) much larger than those seen on our Sun.Hiroyuki Maehara (Kwasan and Hida Observatories, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University) Some middle-aged stars burn and rave like newborns, producing flares thousands of times as energetic as those we see on the Sun, according to the first large survey of these events.Solar flares occur when magnetic-field loops threading through sunspots get twisted and break, releasing massive amounts of radiation and accelerating charged particles into space. The largest ever measured on the Sun took place on 1 September 1859, and was observed as a...
  • Sun Is Moving Slower Than Thought

    05/14/2012 3:47:03 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 36 replies
    National Geographic News ^ | May 10, 2012 | Andrew Fazekas
    The sun is moving through the Milky Way slower than previously thought, according to new data from a NASA spacecraft. From its orbit around Earth, the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) satellite measured the speeds of interstellar particles entering at the fringes of our solar system, 9 billion miles (14.5 billion kilometers) from the sun. Plugging the new data into computer models, the IBEX team calculates that the sun is moving at about 52,000 miles (83,700 kilometers) an hour -- about 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometers) slower than thought. The discovery suggests that the protective boundary separating our solar system from the...
  • New Planet Found in Our Solar System?

    05/12/2012 3:44:38 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 42 replies
    National Geographic ^ | 5/11/12 | Richard A. Lovett
    Odd orbits of remote objects hint at unseen world, new calculations suggest. An as yet undiscovered planet might be orbiting at the dark fringes of the solar system, according to new research.Too far out to be easily spotted by telescopes, the potential unseen planet appears to be making its presence felt by disturbing the orbits of so-called Kuiper belt objects, said Rodney Gomes, an astronomer at the National Observatory of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. Kuiper belt objects are small icy bodies—including some dwarf planets—that lie beyond the orbit of Neptune. Once considered the ninth planet in our system, the...
  • Giant Black Hole Shreds and Swallows Helpless Star

    05/03/2012 5:19:20 PM PDT · by neverdem · 45 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 2 May 2012 | Ken Croswell
    Enlarge Image Slaughtered star. A black hole (upper left) tears a helium-rich star to shreds. Credit: S. Gezari/Johns Hopkins University and J. Guillochon, UC Santa Cruz/NASA Some people seem born under an unlucky star. But some stars are equally unlucky themselves. Astronomers have spotted a star in another galaxy plunging toward a giant black hole and being ripped to shreds, sparking a flare so brilliant that observers detected it from a distance of 2.1 billion light-years. By watching the flare brighten and fade, scientists have achieved the unprecedented feat of reconstructing the life story of the doomed sun. Giant...
  • Four white dwarf stars caught in the act of consuming 'earth-like' exoplanets

    05/03/2012 11:12:43 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 21 replies ^ | May 03, 2012 | Provided by Royal Astronomical Society
    University of Warwick astrophysicists have pinpointed four white dwarf stars surrounded by dust from shattered planetary bodies which once bore striking similarities to the composition of the Earth. The scientists publish their results in a paper in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. White dwarfs are the final stage of life of stars like our Sun, the residual cores of material left behind after their available fuel for nuclear reactions has been exhausted. Using the Hubble Space Telescope to carry out the biggest survey to date of the chemical composition of the atmospheres of white dwarf stars,...
  • 'Faster-ticking clock' indicates early solar system may have evolved faster than we think

    05/03/2012 3:05:41 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 39 replies
    PHYS.ORG ^ | 05/01/2012
    Our solar system is four and a half billion years old, but its formation may have occurred over a shorter period of time than we previously thought, says an international team of researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and universities and laboratories in the US and Japan. Establishing chronologies of past events or determining ages of objects require having clocks that tick at different paces, according to how far back one looks. Nuclear clocks, used for dating, are based on the rate of decay of an atomic nucleus expressed by a half-life, the time it takes for half of...
  • Science and the Republican Brain

    04/30/2012 2:21:50 PM PDT · by neverdem · 47 replies
    The American Magazine ^ | April 30, 2012 | Lee Harris
    The so-called Republican brain, with its deep resistance to yielding before mere scientific evidence, has played an indispensable role in the making of modern science, long before the emergence of the Grand Old Party. A new term of political opprobrium has been loosed upon the world: anti-science. Like many terms of abuse, it is easier to convey its meaning by an illustration than by a rigorous definition. For example, “If those damn Republicans weren’t so anti-science, we might have a chance of dealing with global warming.” Here’s another example: “Those damn Republicans are so anti-science that they want to see...