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Latest Exoplanetology Stories

NASA Attempts 'Hail Mary' To Recover Kepler Space Telescope
2013-07-19 14:23:40

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA is launching a last-ditch "Hail Mary" attempt to try and bring its Kepler mission back to life. The US space agency said that over the next week, the Kepler team will attempt tests to explore recovery of the spacecraft's reaction wheels, which failed back in May. Kepler needs its reaction wheels to help stabilize it as it searches for exoplanets around distant stars. The team will be continuing its efforts to conduct tests on...

Planets May Keep Warmer In A Cool Star System
2013-07-19 13:49:17

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online According to a new study published in the journal Astrobiology, planets orbiting cooler stars may be more likely to remain ice-free than planets around hotter stars. Stars emit different types of light, with hotter stars emitting high-energy visible and ultraviolet light, and cooler stars giving off infrared and near-infrared light. A new climate model found that planets orbiting cool stars actually may be warmer and less icy than...

Hunting For Exoplanets
2013-07-19 10:34:45

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The hunt is on for planets that, like Earth, have the conditions necessary for life to survive on their surfaces. But what exactly are scientists looking for? Earlier this week, NASA officials shed a little light on precisely what conditions they are seeking on worlds located beyond our solar system. These worlds, which are also known as exoplanets, have to meet a handful of different criteria in order to be considered potentially...

Blue Exoplanet Shares Earth Color Only
2013-07-11 09:39:25

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have determined that a planet orbiting a star close to our solar system has a deep azure blue color when seen from space, much like Earth. The international team that made the discovery noted similarities between these two planets likely end at their color, as the exoplanet HD 189733b is being described as a gas giant with thousand degree temperatures and violent winds in its...

Wind And Clouds Play An Important Role In Hot Jupiter Atmospheres
2013-07-05 05:27:23

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers studying eight exoplanets falling into the "hot-Jupiter" class suggest winds and clouds play an important role in the atmospheric make up of these exotic planets. Hot-Jupiters are giant planets similar in size to Jupiter, but orbiting very close to their stars. Astronomers are able to detect which gases are present in their atmosphere by analyzing the spectrum of starlight filtered through the planet's atmosphere when it...

Searching For Water Around Other Stars
2013-07-05 04:46:26

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers search for planets using several different techniques; the most popular of which is to measure how a star "wobbles." As the surrounding planets orbit the star, their gravitational fields will cause the star to shift back and forth in response. From these wobbles researchers can derive the mass and distance of any planets present in the system. Naturally, astronomers have been hoping for decades now to find an...

New Super Earth Found 70 Light Years Away
2013-07-02 14:19:36

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using the Canadian Microvariability & Oscillations of Stars (MOST) telescope, an international team of researchers has uncovered new details about a relatively close Earth-sized planet, according to a new report in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. The star, known as HD 97658, sits just 70 light-years away from Earth and can almost be seen with the naked eye. In 2011, astronomers first discovered a planet orbiting the nearby star,...

Clouds May Help Reveal More Habitable Planets
2013-07-02 05:48:46

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online According to a new study from the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, the influence of cloud behavior on climate doubles the number of potentially habitable planets orbiting the most common type of stars in the universe, red dwarfs. In the Milky Way alone, the findings suggest, 60 billion planets may be orbiting red dwarf stars in the habitable zone. The study, published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, is based on...

Gas Giant Exoplanets Close To Parent Stars
2013-06-28 09:34:28

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Results from the Gemini Observatory's recently completed Planet-Finding Campaign, the most extensive direct imaging survey to date, reveal the outlying orbital space around many types of stars is largely devoid of gas-giant planets, which appear to remain close to their parent stars. The findings could have a significant impact on theories of planetary formation. "It seems that gas-giant exoplanets are like clinging offspring,"...


Latest Exoplanetology Reference Libraries

Planetary Astronomy
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: Artistic concept of a planetary system. Credit: Wikipedia/NASA/JPL-Caltech The term Astronomy encompasses a broad range of topics, including the study of stars, galaxies, and planets. In order to focus on the different areas of study, many subfields of astronomy emerge. One such area is the study of planets known, appropriately, as Planetary Astronomy. Observational Planetary Astronomy Even within the field of Planetary Astronomy, there are several divisions to...

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2004-10-19 04:45:43

Terrestrial Planet Finder -- The Terrestrial Planet Finder is a proposed NASA telescope system capable of detecting extrasolar terrestrial planets. In May 2002, NASA chose two TPF mission architecture concepts for further study and technology development. Each would use a different means to achieve the same goal - to block the light from a parent star in order to see its much smaller, dimmer planets. That technology challenge has been likened to finding a firefly near the beam of...

6_f3ae28666ea2fe9e06e16221eea19d522
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Extrasolar Planet -- An extrasolar planet is a planet orbiting around a star other than the Sun. Extrasolar planets were first discovered in the 1990s as a result of improved telescope technology, CCD and computer-based image processing which allowed far more accurate measurements of stellar motions. The first extrasolar planets were reported by the astronomer Aleksander Wolszczan in 1993, orbiting the pulsar PSR 1257+12. Subsequent investigation has determined that they are only planets...

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Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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