Latest Extrasolar planets Stories

2010-07-15 08:08:00

WASHINGTON, July 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have confirmed the existence of a baked object that could be called a "cometary planet." The gas giant planet, named HD 209458b, is orbiting so close to its star that its heated atmosphere is escaping into space. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Observations taken with Hubble's Cosmic Origins...

2010-07-09 07:20:00

A team of astronomers from Germany, Bulgaria and Poland have used a completely new technique to find an exotic extrasolar planet. The same approach is sensitive enough to find planets as small as the Earth in orbit around other stars. The group, led by Dr Gracjan Maciejewski of Jena University in Germany, used Transit Timing Variation to detect a planet with 15 times the mass of the Earth in the system WASP-3, 700 light years from the Sun in the constellation of Lyra. They publish their work...

2010-06-23 13:40:00

Astronomers have measured a superstorm for the first time in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, the well-studied "hot Jupiter" HD209458b. The very high-precision observations of carbon monoxide gas show that it is streaming at enormous speed from the extremely hot day side to the cooler night side of the planet. The observations also allow another exciting "first" "” measuring the orbital speed of the exoplanet itself, providing a direct determination of its mass. The results appear this...

2010-06-14 08:00:00

By detecting the faint dimming in the light emitted by stars during a transit event, CoRoT has detected six new exoplanets - each with its own peculiar characteristics - and one brown dwarf. One of these exoplanets, designated CoRoT-11b, has twice the mass of Jupiter and orbits a rapidly rotating star; this type of star is an extremely difficult target for exoplanet searches and its detection marks a significant achievement for the CoRoT team. In order to detect planets orbiting other suns,...

2010-06-08 10:12:50

A new robotic telescope has had first light at ESO's La Silla Observatory, in Chile. TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is devoted to the study of planetary systems through two approaches: the detection and characterization of planets located outside the Solar System (exoplanets) and the study of comets orbiting around the Sun. The 60-cm telescope is operated from a control room in Lige, Belgium, 12 000 km away. "The two themes of the TRAPPIST project are...

2010-05-24 14:28:22

Astronomers are reporting today the discovery of a planetary system way out of tilt, where the orbits of two planets are at a steep angle to each other. This surprising finding will impact theories of how multi-planet systems evolve, and it shows that some violent events can happen to disrupt planets' orbits after a planetary system forms, say researchers. "The findings mean that future studies of exoplanetary systems will be more complicated. Astronomers can no longer assume all planets...

2010-05-24 13:12:58

Weird orbits of neighbors can make 'habitable' planets not so habitable Astronomers hunting for planets orbiting nearby stars similar to the sun are looking for signs of rocky, Earth-like planets in a "habitable" zone, where conditions such as temperature and liquid water remain stable enough to support life. New findings from computer modeling indicate that some of those exoplanets might fluctuate between being habitable and being inhospitable to life because of the forces exerted by giant...

2010-05-20 09:40:00

The hottest known planet in the Milky Way galaxy may also be its shortest-lived world. The doomed planet is being eaten by its parent star, according to observations made by a new instrument on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS). The planet may only have another 10 million years left before it is completely devoured. The planet, called WASP-12b, is so close to its sunlike star that it is superheated to nearly 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit and stretched into a...

2010-04-13 10:10:00

Astronomers have discovered nine new transiting exoplanets, some of which were found to orbit in the opposite direction as their host stars, according to a press release sent out by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) on Tuesday. The new exoplanets, when combined with others previously discovered by astronomers, brings to a total of 27, six of which were found to have the exact opposite orbital patterns of planets in our own solar system. According...

2010-03-17 13:15:00

Combining observations from the CoRoT satellite and the ESO HARPS instrument, astronomers have discovered the first "normal" exoplanet that can be studied in great detail. Designated Corot-9b, the planet regularly passes in front of a star similar to the Sun located 1500 light-years away from Earth towards the constellation of Serpens (the Snake). "This is a normal, temperate exoplanet just like dozens we already know, but this is the first whose properties we can study in depth," says Claire...

Latest Extrasolar planets Reference Libraries

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...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Epsilon Eridani -- Epsilon Eridani is a main-sequence star in the constellation of Eridanus (the river). It is often used in science fiction because it is extremely sunlike, and in the fictional Star Trek universe it is the home sun of the planet Vulcan which is home to Mr. Spock. It is the third closest star visible without a telescope. It has 85% of the Sun's mass, almost that much of its diameter, and 28% of its luminosity. It is 10.5 light years from Earth. Its spectrum is...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

La Silla Observatory -- La Silla is a 2400-m mountain, bordering the southern extremity of the Atacama desert in Chile. It is located about 160 Km north of La Serena. Its geographical coordinates are: Latitude 29 15' south & Longitude 70 44' west. Originally known as Cinchado, the mountain was renamed La Silla (the saddle) after its shape. It rises quite isolated and remote from any artificial light and dust sources (astronomy's worst enemies). La Silla was the first ESO...

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Word of the Day
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.