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Keyword: xplanets

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  • “Snowball Earths” May Have Been Triggered by a Plunge in Incoming Sunlight – “Be Wary of Speed”

    07/29/2020 11:08:46 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 42 replies ^ | By Jennifer Chu, July 29, 2020
    Findings also suggest exoplanets lying within habitable zones may be susceptible to ice ages. ============================================================================= At least twice in Earth’s history, nearly the entire planet was encased in a sheet of snow and ice. These dramatic “Snowball Earth” events occurred in quick succession, somewhere around 700 million years ago, and evidence suggests that the consecutive global ice ages set the stage for the subsequent explosion of complex, multicellular life on Earth. Scientists have considered multiple scenarios for what may have tipped the planet into each ice age. While no single driving process has been identified, it’s assumed that whatever triggered...
  • Beyond Pluto: the hunt for our solar system's new ninth planet

    07/26/2020 6:25:52 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 30 replies
    Guardian (UK) ^ | Sunday, June 28, 2020 | Stuart Clark
    ...for astronomer Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC, it was a much quieter affair. "It wasn't like there was a eureka moment," he says. "The evidence just built up slowly." He's a master of understatement. Ever since he and his collaborator Chad Trujillo of Northern Arizona University, first published their suspicions about the unseen planet in 2014, the evidence has only continued to grow. Yet when asked how convinced he is that the new world, which he calls Planet X (though many other astronomers call it Planet 9), is really out there, Sheppard will only...
  • Astronomers Discover One of the Coolest Transiting Gas Giants

    07/26/2020 6:08:55 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies ^ | July 23, 2020 | Natali Anderson
    Using data from NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and the Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS), astronomers have discovered a transiting Saturn-like exoplanet circling NGTS-11 (also known as TOI-1847 and 2MASS J01340514-1425090), a mid K-type star located 624 light-years away in the constellation of Cetus. Named NGTS-11b (TOI-1847b), the planet has an equilibrium temperature of just 162 degrees Celsius (324 degrees Fahrenheit), making it one of the coolest known transiting gas giants. NGTS-11b has a radius of 0.82 times that of Jupiter and a mass of 0.34 Jupiter masses. The planet orbits its host star every 35 days at a distance...
  • Out of this world: Astronomers capture first photo of two giant planets orbiting a Sun-like star 309 light years away that could shed light on the formation of our Solar System

    07/22/2020 7:26:46 AM PDT · by C19fan · 18 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | July 22, 2020 | Ryan Morrison
    The first ever photo of two planets orbiting a Sun-like star 309-light years from the Earth has been captured by astronomers using a ground-based telescope. The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile was used to capture the image of the two giant exoplanets orbiting the very young star. Astronomers say this image is a snapshot of an environment similar to our Solar System - but at an earlier stage in its evolution.
  • Bacteria that eats metal accidentally discovered by scientists

    07/16/2020 10:53:31 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 29 replies
    CNN ^ | 07/16/2020 | By Amy Woodyatt
    California Institute of Technology (or Caltech) accidentally discovered the bacteria after performing unrelated experiments using a chalk-like type of manganese, a commonly found chemical element. Dr. Jared Leadbetter, professor of environmental microbiology at Caltech in Pasadena, left a glass jar covered with the substance to soak in tap water in his office sink, and left the vessel for several months when he went to work off campus. When he returned, Leadbetter found the jar coated with a dark material. Researchers discovered that the black coating found on the jar was oxidized manganese which had been generated by newly discovered bacteria...
  • Is 'Planet Nine' actually a grapefruit-sized black hole? Big new telescope could find out

    07/12/2020 9:46:33 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 36 replies
    space,com ^ | 07/11/2020
    Over the past few years, researchers have noticed an odd clustering in the orbits of multiple trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), which dwell in the dark depths of the far outer solar system. Some scientists have hypothesized that the TNOs' paths have been sculpted by the gravitational pull of a big object way out there, something five to 10 times more massive than Earth (though others think the TNOs may just be tugging on each other). This big "perturber," if it exists, may be a planet — the so-called "Planet Nine," or "Planet X" or "Planet Next" for those who will always...
  • Some Scientists Think SARS May Have Come from Outer Space

    05/22/2003 5:47:54 PM PDT · by TaxRelief · 207 replies · 880+ views
    LONDON (Reuters) ^ | May 22, 2003 | Patricia Reaney
    LONDON (Reuters) - Could SARS have come from outer space? Some scientists think so. Instead of jumping from an unknown animal host in southern China, a few researchers in Britain believe the virus that has baffled medical experts descended from the stratosphere. "I think it is a possibility that SARS came from space. It is a very strong possibility," Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe told Reuters. The director of the Cardiff Center for Astrobiology in Wales and a proponent of the theory that life on Earth originated from space, admits the theory defies conventional wisdom. But in a letter published in The...
  • Scientists say it is possible there is life on Jupiter's moon Europa

    06/26/2020 3:49:08 AM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper · 23 replies ^ | 25 June 2020 | SKY News
    The interior ocean in Jupiter's moon Europa may be able to sustain life, NASA scientists believe. Their work is based on computer simulations of the reservoirs below the ice-shell surface of Europa, one of the largest moons in the Solar System.
  • There should be billions of Earths out there. Why can’t we find them?

    06/24/2020 9:09:55 PM PDT · by RomanSoldier19 · 108 replies ^ | June 24, 2020 | By Charlie Wood
    A new estimate suggests the Milky Way is home to six billion Earth-like planets. So far, we’ve found just one potential candidate. In 2009, the Kepler space telescope constantly watched over some 200,000 stars in our corner of the Milky Way. It was looking for where life might exist—by pinpointing small, rocky planets in the temperate zones of warm, yellow suns, and figuring out just how special Earth is in the grand scheme of things. While the mission revolutionized the study of exoplanets, those main objectives went largely unfulfilled. A mechanical failure cut short Kepler’s initial survey in 2013. Astronomers...
  • Scientists estimate the number of intelligent alien civilizations in the galaxy

    06/15/2020 6:38:28 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 76 replies
    CNET ^ | June 15, 2020 3:53 p.m. PT | Jackson Ryan
    A new study... provides an updated estimate of the likely number of alien civilizations that could exist in the Milky Way. The analysis...starts with revising the Drake equation... "The classic method for estimating the number of intelligent civilizations relies on making guesses of values relating to life," said Westby in a press release. "Our new study simplifies these assumptions using new data, giving us a solid estimate of the number of civilizations in our Galaxy." Westby and Conselice...built a key assumption in to their estimate: Life on another planet will arise in a similar way to how it did on...
  • Ingredients for life appear in stellar nurseries long before stars are born

    06/13/2020 7:52:00 PM PDT · by RomanSoldier19 · 30 replies
    phys ^ | JUNE 12, 2020 | by Daniel Stolte, University of Arizona
    Complex organic molecules that could serve as building blocks for life are more ubiquitous than previously thought in cold clouds of gas and dust that give birth to stars and planets, according to astronomers at the University of Arizona Steward Observatory. These molecules also appear much earlier than conventional wisdom suggested, hundreds of thousands of years before stars actually begin to form, the researchers found. Published in The Astrophysical Journal, the results challenge existing theories that require an environment heated by proto-stars—stars in the making—for complex organic molecules to become observable. The study is the first to look for the...
  • 'Mirror Image' of Sun & Earth Reportedly Found in the Depths of Space

    06/08/2020 10:01:44 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 32 replies ^ | 19:09 GMT 07.06.2020 | Staff
    The scientists warned that they still require more data to confirm that their discovery is indeed a planet and not some “statistical fluke or a systematic measurement error”. A massive exoplanet that orbits a star located some 3,000 light years away from our world was discovered by scientists who suggest that it may be potentially habitable, Fox News reports citing a statement issued by the Max Planck Institute. According to the media outlet, while the planet, KOI-456.4, is "less that twice the size of Earth", orbits a "sun-like" star, making the two practically a "mirror image" of our own planet...
  • Researchers observe protons 'playing hopscotch' in a high-pressure form of ice

    05/26/2020 3:15:41 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 16 replies ^ | 05/25/2020
    An international team of researchers from University College Dublin (UCD) and University of Saskatchewan, Canada, have observed 'proton-hopping' movement in a high-pressure form of ice (Ice VII lattices). Ordinary water ice is known as Ice I, while Ice VII is a cubic crystalline form of ice which can be formed from liquid water above 3 GPa (30,000 atmospheres) by lowering its temperature to room temperature, or by decompressing heavy water (D2O) Ice VI below 95 K. Ice VII has a simple structure of two inter-penetrating, and effectively independent, cubic-ice sub-lattices, and is stable across a wide-ranging region above 2 GPa....
  • Hot Super-Earth Discovered Orbiting Ancient Star

    05/18/2020 7:44:45 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    Science News ^ | May 18, 2020 | Natali Anderson
    An international team of astronomers has discovered a close-in super-Earth exoplanet in the HD 164922 planetary system. HD 164922 is a bright G9-type star located approximately 72 light-years away in the constellation of Hercules. Also known as Gliese 9613 or LHS 3353, the star is slightly smaller and less massive than the Sun and is 9.6 billion years old. HD 164922 is known to host two massive planets: the temperate sub-Neptune HD 164922c and the Saturn-mass planet HD 164922b in a wide orbit. The sub-Neptune is 12.9 times more massive than Earth, and orbits the parent star once every 75.8...
  • Astronomers Find a Beautiful Six-Planet System in Almost Perfect Orbital Harmony

    05/18/2020 7:40:39 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    Science Alert ^ | April 20, 2020 | Michelle Starr
    By now, we have discovered hundreds of stars with multiple planets orbiting them scattered throughout the galaxy. Each one is unique, but a system orbiting the star HD 158259, 88 light-years away, is truly special. The star itself is about the same mass and a little larger than the Sun - a minority in our exoplanet hunts. It's orbited by six planets: a super-Earth and five mini-Neptunes... These two bodies are in what is described as a 2:3 orbital resonance. For every two laps Pluto makes around the Sun, Neptune makes three. It's like bars of music being played simultaneously,...
  • Astronomers Make Incredibly Rare Detection of Earth-Like Planet 25,000 Light-Years Away

    05/18/2020 5:48:33 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 43 replies
    Science Alert ^ | May 12, 2020 | Michelle Starr
    There may be multitudes of Earth-like planets sprinkled throughout the Milky Way galaxy, but they are not so easy to find. To date, only around a third of the over 4,000 exoplanets found and confirmed are rocky -- and most of those are within a few thousand light-years of Earth... So the announcement of a new rocky exoplanet is always exciting -- but this particular newly discovered rocky exoplanet is even more exciting yet... it's a whopping 24,722.65 light-years away from us -- which could make it the most distant Milky Way exoplanet discovered yet. It's so distant, it's close...
  • Giant, scorching-hot alien planet has yellow skies [Rayleigh scattering]

    05/09/2020 10:40:44 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    Space dot com ^ | May 7, 2020 | Mike Wall
    We can now add atmospheric craziness to WASP-79b's already substantial exotic appeal. The gas-giant exoplanet, which lies about 780 light-years from Earth, circles extremely close to its bright host star, completing one orbit every 3.7 Earth days. That proximity makes WASP-79b scorching hot, with an average temperature around 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,650 degrees Celsius), NASA officials said. All that heat puffs up WASP-79b substantially, making it one of the largest alien worlds ever observed. Although WASP-79b is just 85% as massive as Jupiter, it's 1.7 times wider than our solar system's biggest planet. Then there's the alien world's air, which...
  • Are There Aliens Already on Earth?

    02/20/2006 5:28:16 PM PST · by KevinDavis · 141 replies · 3,257+ views
    Conspiracy theorists will readily tell you that the U.S. military is hiding alien corpses in a secret facility in the Nevada desert. But paleontologist and University of Washington geology professor Peter Ward thinks that scientists should be looking for a different type of alien life on earth: alien microbes. Ward is the author of several popular books about astrobiology, including the controversial Rare Earth, co-authored with Donald Brownlee. In his latest book, Life as We Do Not Know It, Ward addresses an issue often avoided by astrobiologists. Although all known life on Earth has a similar DNA-based chemistry, life found...
  • Exoplanet that vanished may have been a giant dust cloud created by a titanic collision between two icy asteroids

    04/21/2020 1:12:45 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 32 replies
    Daily Mail Online ^ | Tuesday, April 21, 2020 | Ryan Morrison
    The first planet to be discovered outside our solar system isn't a planet at all, and may be a giant dust cloud created by the collision of two icy asteroids, a study finds. Twelve years ago, astronomers spotted what they thought was a Saturn-like planet in the Fomalhaut star system 25 light years from Earth, and called it Fomalhaut b. But now researchers from the University of Arizona claim the visible and infrared images of the 'planet' captured by the Hubble Space Telescope were actually of a cosmic collision. The team studied the images in more detail and found they...
  • Bizarre life-forms found thriving in ancient rocks beneath the seafloor

    04/04/2020 1:19:18 PM PDT · by RomanSoldier19 · 18 replies
    nationalgeographic ^ | APRIL 2, 2020 | BY ROBIN GEORGE ANDREWS
    IN 2013, SCIENTISTS were stunned to find microbes thriving deep inside volcanic rocks beneath the seafloor off the Pacific Northwest, buried under more than 870 feet of sediment. The rocks were on the flank of the volcanic rift where they were born, and they were still young and hot enough to drive intense chemical reactions with the seawater, from which the microbes derived their energy. Now, however, another team of researchers have discovered living cells inside exceedingly old, cold oceanic crust in the middle of the South Pacific. It isn’t yet clear how these new microbes are managing to survive—and...