Latest Exoplanetology Stories
Planets capable of supporting life could start out as gaseous worlds similar to Neptune, only to be transformed by the combination of two phenomena that individually can inhibit their potential habitability, University of Washington astronomers have discovered in a new study.
Astronomers have discovered the oldest known planetary system ever – a star that is more than 11 billion years old and orbited by at least five rocky planets that are all smaller than Earth.
Finding the next earth just got one step easier. A new NASA instrument designed to study dust in the so-called habitable zone around a star may help future missions centered around capturing images of planets similar to Earth.
On Tuesday, researchers working with data from NASA's Kepler space telescope announced the discovery of eight new ‘exoplanets’ located in the Goldilocks zone at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
One of the key factors in the search for life on other worlds is a planet’s ability to sustain liquid water, and researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have for the first time revealed that this possibility exists on the type of planets known as super-Earths.
The discovery was made when astronomers and engineers devised an ingenious way to repurpose Kepler for the K2 mission and continue its search of the cosmos for other worlds.
Even a shallow ocean, about 50 meters deep, would be enough to keep such a planet at relatively comfortable temperatures, averaging around 60 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA has selected SpaceX to provide launch services for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission.
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...
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...
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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