Latest Extrasolar planets Stories

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...

2010-03-02 09:45:00

A new report launched by the Institute of Physics (IOP) Exoplanets "“ The search for planets beyond our solar system explains how new technological advances have seen the discovery of more than 400 exoplanets to date, a number expected to rise to thousands in the next few years. The report details how new techniques and instruments are providing growing observational evidence that our home galaxy "“ the Milky Way with its 100 billion stars "“ could contain millions of solar...

2010-02-24 14:20:00

Scientists have opportunity to watch a planetary "death march" An international group of astrophysicists has determined that a massive planet outside our Solar System is being distorted and destroyed by its host star "“ a finding that helps explain the unexpectedly large size of the planet, WASP-12b. It's a discovery that not only explains what's happening to WASP-12b; it also means scientists have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to observe how a planet enters this final stage of its life....

2010-02-19 13:26:49

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so University of California, Berkeley, astronomer Paul Kalas found out when he published a Hubble Space Telescope image of a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting the star Fomalhaut. Since it appeared in the journal Science in November 2008, "the image of Fomalhaut, its visually striking belt of comet dust and its planet has become an iconic image of a planetary system," said Kalas, an adjunct associate professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley. National Geographic...

2010-02-03 13:36:40

NASA astronomers have successfully demonstrated that a David of a telescope can tackle Goliath-size questions in the quest to study Earth-like planets around other stars. Their work, reported today in the journal Nature, provides a new tool for ground-based observatories, promising to accelerate by years the search for prebiotic, or life-related, molecules on planets orbiting stars beyond our solar system. The scientists reported on a new technique used with a relatively small Earth-based...

2010-01-14 09:30:00

Discovery highlights new potential for eventually finding Earth-mass planets Astronomers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and other institutions, using the highly sensitive 10-meter Keck I telescope atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea, have detected an extrasolar planet with a mass just four times that of Earth. The planet, which orbits its parent star HD156668 about once every four days, is the second-smallest world among the more than 400 exoplanets (planets located outside our...

2010-01-14 09:15:57

By studying a triple planetary system that resembles a scaled-up version of our own Sun's family of planets, astronomers have been able to obtain the first direct spectrum "” the "chemical fingerprint" [1] "” of a planet orbiting a distant star [2], thus bringing new insights into the planet's formation and composition. The result represents a milestone in the search for life elsewhere in the Universe. "The spectrum of a planet is like a fingerprint. It provides key information...

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
  • The hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that contains the seed.
This word comes from the Greek 'endon,' in, within, plus the Greek 'kardia,' heart.