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Latest Exoplanetology Stories

Using A Stellar Ultrasound To Determine Ages Of Young Stars
2014-07-04 11:40:33

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Before they become full-fledged stars, young embryonic stars are essentially contracting molecular clouds of gas and dust particles. The age of these ‘baby stars’ is difficult to gauge, but a newly published study in the journal Science has revealed scientists used a technique similar to ultrasound technology to determine the age of these young stars. "Think of it as ultrasound of stellar embryos," explained study author Jaymie...

Planetary System Gliese 581
2014-07-04 06:31:29

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Gliese 581g, described as one of the most Earth-like planets when it was originally discovered four years ago, probably does not exist, researchers from Penn State University and the University of Texas at Austin report in the latest edition of the journal Science. Officially, lead author Paul Robertson of Penn State’s Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds and his colleagues write that the existence of Gliese 581g is...

newly discovered planet in binary system
2014-07-04 04:31:19

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Astronomers have located a new terrestrial planet in a binary star system located roughly 3,000 light-years from Earth, according to new research appearing in the July 4 edition of the journal Science. Ohio State University professor Andrew Gould and four international teams of scientists used the technique of gravitational microlensing to discover the new planet, which is roughly twice the mass of Earth and orbits one of its...

Potentially Habitable Exoplanet With Earth-Like Temperatures Found
2014-06-27 08:24:53

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Astronomers have discovered a new, potentially habitable Super-Earth believed to possess temperatures comparable to those found here, but with much larger seasonal shifts, provided the atmosphere is similar to our planet's own. Dr. Robert A. Wittenmyer, a researcher at UNSW Australia specializing in the detection and characterization of extrasolar planets, and his colleagues located the new Super-Earth in orbit around the nearby...

SPHERE first light
2014-06-04 08:00:35

ESO Revolutionary new VLT instrument installed SPHERE — the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch instrument — has been installed on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile and has achieved first light. This powerful new facility for finding and studying exoplanets uses multiple advanced techniques in combination. It offers dramatically better performance than existing instruments and has produced impressive views of dust discs around...

Two Ancient Worlds Discovered In Neighboring Galactic Cluster
2014-06-04 07:02:00

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using new data from the HARPS spectrometer at the ESO’s La Silla observatory in Chile, an international team of scientists have discovered two exoplanets orbiting a nearby ancient star. Kapteyn’s star, named after Jacobus Kapteyn, who discovered the star in the 19th century, is a red dwarf and one of the two planets in its grasp sits at the right spot where life could form. Led by Queen Mary University of London, the...

Two Planets Will Be Eaten By Their Star
2014-06-02 03:21:55

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Two worlds orbiting a distant star are about to become a snack of cosmic proportions. Astronomers announced on Monday that the planets Kepler-56b and Kepler-56c will be swallowed by their star in a short time by astronomical standards. Their ends will come in 130 million and 155 million years, respectively. "As far as we know, this is the first time two known exoplanets in a single system have a predicted 'time of death,'" says lead author...

Exoplanets Come In Three "Neapolitan" Flavors
2014-06-02 03:09:48

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics The planets of our solar system come in two basic flavors, like vanilla and chocolate ice cream. We have small, rocky terrestrials like Earth and Mars, and large gas giants like Neptune and Jupiter. We're missing the astronomical equivalent of strawberry ice cream - planets between about one and four times the size of Earth. NASA's Kepler mission has discovered that these types of planets are very common around other stars. New research...

Astronomers Discover The "Mega-Earth"
2014-06-02 03:30:17

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomers announced on Monday that they have discovered a new type of planet - a rocky world weighing 17 times as much as Earth. Theorists believed such a world couldn't form because anything so hefty would grab hydrogen gas as it grew and become a Jupiter-like gas giant. This planet, though, is all solids and much bigger than previously discovered "super-Earths," making it a "mega-Earth." "We were very surprised when we realized what we had...

Potential Life On Red-Dwarf Planets May Be Doomed Due To Harsh Space Weather
2014-06-02 03:34:30

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Life in the universe might be even rarer than we thought. Recently, astronomers looking for potentially habitable worlds have targeted red dwarf stars because they are the most common type of star, comprising 80 percent of the stars in the universe. But a new study shows that harsh space weather might strip the atmosphere of any rocky planet orbiting in a red dwarf's habitable zone. "A red-dwarf planet faces an extreme space environment, in...


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...

7_a23a0395183f2368aec4b62e1b9470672
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
abrosia
  • Wasting away as a result of abstinence from food.
The word 'abrosia' comes from a Greek roots meaning 'not' and 'eating'.