Latest Exoplanetology Stories

Kepler Goes Into Thruster-Controlled Safe Mode
2013-05-15 18:53:56

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online NASA announced on Wednesday that its Kepler spacecraft was sitting in safe mode once again, possibly putting an end to its high-accuracy observations. Kepler went into a Thruster-Controlled Safe Mode earlier in May, and NASA said its spacecraft is sitting in the same position again. The space agency said the root cause of Kepler putting itself into safe mode is unknown, but the possible cause "appears to be an altitude error."...

Kepler's Dozen - On The Hunt For Distant Worlds
2013-05-15 04:25:44

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Since its launch in 2009 the Kepler spacecraft has identified more than 2,500 planet candidates in our galaxy. Of these, several hundred have been confirmed as planets by ground based observatories. The observatory operates by monitoring stars in our galactic neighborhood and watching for tiny dips in the observed brightness. As the dips are repeated over time, researchers can deduce the presence of planets and even...

einstein planet
2013-05-14 05:41:28

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online The field of exoplanet research — the study of planets outside of our solar system — has exploded in the last decade as new instruments have come online that have dramatically increased our ability to find new worlds. Perhaps the most important player in the game is the Kepler mission. It primarily works by analyzing stars in our galaxy and looking for tiny changes in a star´s brightness. As a planet...

Hunting For Alien World's From The Ground
2013-05-10 04:30:35

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online In the search for life beyond Earth scientists face significant challenges. Given the great distances and faint signatures of the alien worlds that we have found, discovering which ones are even potentially habitable is difficult. While the first step is attempting to determine which worlds could maintain liquid water on their surfaces, an equally important factor is characterizing the atmosphere maintained above the...

Earth-Like Planets Discovered In Atmospheres Of Dead Stars
2013-05-09 14:38:45

[ Watch the Video: Ring of Rocky Debris Around a White Dwarf Star ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The Hubble Space Telescope has helped astronomers spot signs of Earth-like planets in an unlikely place. Astronomers say they found the planets sitting in the atmospheres of a pair of burnt-out stars in a nearby star cluster. The white dwarf stars are being polluted by debris from asteroid-like objects falling onto them, and the researchers say this discovery...

Hot Jupiters More Nuanced Than Expected
2013-05-07 10:16:25

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online In addition to the eight beloved planets circling our Sun, our galaxy is literally teeming with an enormous variety of planets. More than 800 of the so-called exoplanets have been identified circling stars beyond our solar system. And several different “species” of exoplanets have been discovered as well, including so-called ℠roasters´ or ℠hot Jupiters,´ which are gas giants like our own Jupiter that...

What Really Makes A Habitable Planet?
2013-05-04 05:41:48

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online The Holy Grail in the search for planets outside our solar system is finding one that could potentially support life. Traditionally, this means finding a planet with features similar to Earth, which is just the right distance from its host star that liquid water could be supported on the surface. Scientists believe the presence of liquid water on the surface is a necessary component for the proliferation of life. And a...

Uwingu Kicking Off 'Adopt-A-Planet' Campaign
2013-05-02 17:53:25

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Uwingu announced on Wednesday the launch of the world's first "Adopt-a-Planet" campaign, allowing the public an opportunity to adopt planets. The space company's new open-ended campaign allows the public to adopt exoplanets in astronomical databases through Uwingu's website. The campaign coincides with its other campaign aimed at naming a planet. Uwingu has asked participants to vote on names for exoplanets, which costs money....

Two New Exoplanets Confirmed
2013-04-30 05:08:49

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online The newest addition to our planet-hunting arsenal, the HARPS spectrograph, has characterized two new worlds. Planets KOI-200 b and KOI-889 b are Jupiter-like planets that orbit very close to their host stars. With periods of less than 10 days, the so-called “Hot Jupiters” were originally detected using NASA´s Kepler spacecraft. This instrument has documented more than 800 new exoplanets, with thousands...

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...

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...

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
  • The unit of magnetic flux density in the International System of Units, equal to the magnitude of the magnetic field vector necessary to produce a force of one newton on a charge of one coulomb moving perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field vector with a velocity of one meter per second. It is equivalent to one weber per square meter.
This word is named for Nikola Tesla, the inventor, engineer, and futurist.