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Latest Exoplanetology Stories

Lick's Automated Planet Finder Has Found Two New Planetary Systems
2014-03-27 12:31:13

By Tim Stephens, UC Santa Cruz In its first months of operation, the APF has found two new planetary systems, giving astronomers a taste of planetary riches to come Lick Observatory's newest telescope, the Automated Planet Finder (APF), has been operating robotically night after night on Mt. Hamilton since January, searching nearby stars for Earth-sized planets. Every night the fully autonomous system checks the weather, decides which stars to observe, and moves the telescope from star...

artist impression of debris around a white dwarf star
2014-03-27 08:16:01

University of Leicester and The Royal Astronomical Society New theory advanced for how collapsed stars become polluted -- pointing to ominous fate that awaits planet Earth A decades old space mystery has been solved by an international team of astronomers led by Professor Martin Barstow of the University of Leicester and President-elect of the Royal Astronomical Society. Scientists from the University of Leicester and University of Arizona investigated hot, young, white dwarfs —...

Space Sunflower Could One Day Help Snap Pictures Of Planets
2014-03-21 10:52:53

Watch The Video: Studying Other Worlds with the Help of a Starshade ] Whitney Clavin, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory A spacecraft that looks like a giant sunflower might one day be used to acquire images of Earth-like rocky planets around nearby stars. The prototype deployable structure, called a starshade, is being developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The hunt is on for planets that resemble Earth in size, composition and temperature. Rocky...

NASA's WISE Spacecraft Has Yet To Uncover Planet 'X' Beyond Pluto
2014-03-10 08:36:02

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online While NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has uncovered thousands of new stars during its multi-year mission, it has been unable to collect any evidence supporting the supposed existence of a large but unseen celestial body believed to be located somewhere beyond Pluto’s orbit. This supposed celestial body is commonly referred to as “Planet X” -- alternatively “Nemesis” or “Tyche." However, despite the...

Kepler Space Telescope Marks Five Years in Space
2014-03-07 11:47:49

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Exactly five years ago, on March 6, 2009, NASA's Kepler Space Telescope rocketed into the night skies above Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to find planets around other stars, called exoplanets, in search of potentially habitable worlds. Since then, Kepler has unveiled a whole new side of our galaxy -- one that is teeming with planets. Because of Kepler, we now know that most stars have planets, Earth-sized planets are common, and planets...

Massive Ring Of Carbon Monoxide Discovered In Turbulent Comet Field
2014-03-07 10:10:00

[ Watch the Video: Colliding Comets Hint At Unseen Exoplanet ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA scientists have found evidence of a highly-turbulent comet field circling a star 63 light years from Earth. This cosmic shooting gallery has produced a massive ring of carbon monoxide gas and dust that also encircles the star, according to a new report published in the journal Science. According to the report authors, the comet field is probably the result of either...

2014-03-06 08:20:58

BOULDER, Colo., March 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. planet hunting Kepler Mission completed five years of operations today since its launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on March 6, 2009. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20130108/LA39163LOGO Kepler is the first NASA mission to find 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...

exoplanet
2014-03-06 05:10:06

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online A team of researchers from the University of Arizona’s Department of Astronomy have managed to use an Earth-based telescope to capture images of a world outside of our solar system, according to research scheduled to be published in an upcoming edition of The Astrophysical Journal. The telescope used essentially the same type of imaging sensor found in a standard digital camera instead of an infrared detector, and while the...

Exoplanet Atmospheres
2014-03-05 07:53:33

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The holy grail of planetary astronomy is the search for a potentially habitable planet, or even better, one that is shown to already contain life. There are various parameters that are needed in order to ascertain the habitability of worlds, such as whether liquid water can be sustained on its surface. Recent studies, however, have found that identifying some of these characteristics is rather difficult, and we may in fact...

hypothetical planet with two moons orbiting in the habitable zone of a red dwarf star
2014-03-04 12:04:51

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A team of astronomers from the UK and Chile have discovered three new planets classified as Super Earths. The planets are part of a group of eight new planets discovered orbiting nearby red dwarf stars. This study shows that virtually all red dwarfs have planets orbiting around them. Astronomers used the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) and Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) telescopes for the...


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
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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