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Latest David Charbonneau Stories

Patchy Clouds On Exotic World Found By NASA Space Telescopes
2013-10-01 09:19:03

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Astronomers using data from NASA's Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes have created the first cloud map of a planet beyond our solar system, a sizzling, Jupiter-like world known as Kepler-7b. The planet is marked by high clouds in the west and clear skies in the east. Previous studies from Spitzer have resulted in temperature maps of planets orbiting other stars, but this is the first look at cloud structures on a distant world. "By observing this...

2012-10-17 15:20:06

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement about the European Southern Observatory's latest exoplanet discovery from NASA's Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator, Dr. John Grunsfeld. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) "We congratulate the European Southern Observatory team for making this exciting new exoplanet discovery. For astronomers, the search for exoplanets helps us understand our place in the universe...

2011-12-19 14:16:00

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA will host a news teleconference at 1 p.m. EST, Tuesday, Dec. 20, announcing new discoveries by the Kepler mission. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the "habitable zone," the region in a planetary system where liquid water can exist on the surface of an orbiting planet. Although additional observations will be...

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2009-12-16 13:50:00

Astronomers have discovered the second super-Earth exoplanet [1] for which they have determined the mass and radius, giving vital clues about its structure. It is also the first super-Earth where an atmosphere has been found. The exoplanet, orbiting a small star only 40 light-years away from us, opens up dramatic new perspectives in the quest for habitable worlds. The planet, GJ1214b, has a mass about six times that of Earth and its interior is likely to be mostly made of water ice. Its...

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2009-12-16 12:30:00

Astronomers announced today that they have discovered a "super-Earth" orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light-years from Earth. They found the distant planet with a small fleet of ground-based telescopes no larger than those many amateur astronomers have in their backyards. Although the super-Earth is too hot to sustain life, the discovery shows that current, ground-based technologies are capable of finding almost-Earth-sized planets in warm, life-friendly orbits. The discovery is being published...

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2005-03-23 00:10:00

JPL -- NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has for the first time captured the light from two known planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. The findings mark the beginning of a new age of planetary science, in which "extrasolar" planets can be directly measured and compared. "Spitzer has provided us with a powerful new tool for learning about the temperatures, atmospheres and orbits of planets hundreds of light-years from Earth," said Dr. Drake Deming of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center,...