Latest Extrasolar planets Stories

Astronomers Launch Online Database Of Habitable Planets
2011-12-06 05:02:07

Only 15 planets and 30 moons could potentially support alien life, according to a new online catalog of habitable planets launched by astronomers on Monday. The Habitable Exoplanets Catalog (HEC) website describes the project as "an online database for scientists, educators, and the general public focused on habitable exoplanets discoveries." "The catalog uses various habitability indices and classifications to identify, rank, and compare exoplanets, including their potential...

Forming Planet Captured By Astronomer
2011-10-20 10:34:22

A University of Hawaii astronomer is credited with capturing the first direct image of a planet in the process of being formed around its star, reports the Associated Press (AP). Astronomer Adam Kraus, from UH at Manoa, made the discovery using the twin 10-meter Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea. He also used mirrors to cancel out starlight to view the phenomenon, a technique called aperture mask interferometry. It is usually impossible to capture such planetary births because the parent...

Distant Planet Blasted With X-rays From Nearby Star
2011-09-14 05:56:33

  A nearby star is pummeling a companion planet with a barrage of X-rays 100,000 times more intense than the Earth receives from the sun. New data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope suggest that high-energy radiation is evaporating about 5 million tons of matter from the planet every second. This result gives insight into the difficult survival path for some planets. The planet, known as CoRoT-2b, has a mass about...

Image 1 - HARPS Finds Fifty New Exoplanets
2011-09-12 12:45:58

  Richest haul of planets so far includes 16 new super-Earths [ View Video ] Astronomers using ESO´s world-leading exoplanet hunter HARPS have today announced a rich haul of more than 50 new exoplanets, including 16 super-Earths, one of which orbits at the edge of the habitable zone of its star. By studying the properties of all the HARPS planets found so far, the team has found that about 40% of stars similar to the Sun have at least one planet lighter than Saturn. The...

2011-08-24 15:03:54

  A team of scientists at Germany´s Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy has discovered a potentially habitable planet about 3.6 times as massive of Earth orbiting the star HD 85512, roughly 36.23 light years away (one light year is equivalent to roughly 5.9 trillion miles). Dan Vergano of USA Today reports that the discovery, led by the institute´s Lisa Kaltenegger, adds to the 572 planets orbiting nearby stars listed by the Extrasolar Planets Catalogue. Astronomers around...

2011-08-11 12:00:00

Astronomers said on Thursday that they have discovered the darkest known exoplanet they say is the size of Jupiter. The researchers said exoplanet, TrES-2b, is blacker than coal or any planet or moon in our solar system. "TrES-2b is considerably less reflective than black acrylic paint, so it's truly an alien world," astronomer David Kipping of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), lead author on the paper reporting the research, said in a statement. TrES-2b lacks reflective...

2011-06-15 05:20:00

The French-led CoRoT (Convection, Rotation and planetary Transits) satellite has found ten new planets outside our Solar System. The new find brings the total number of known exoplanets to 561.  CoRoT launched in 2006 and it spots planets by measuring the tiny dip in stellar light that occurs when planets pass between the stars and the Earth. The spacecraft has added 23 planetary systems to the roster so far. CoRoT went into orbit shortly after NASA's Kepler, which is a similar...

2011-05-16 12:15:00

Scientists said on Monday that a rocky planet outside our solar system is the first to meet key requirements for sustaining life. Modeling of planet Gliese 581d shows that it has the potential to be warm and wet enough to nurture Earth-like life. The planet orbits on the outer fringes of the star's "Goldilocks zone," where it is not so hot that water boils away, nor so cold that water is perpetually frozen.  "With a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere -- a likely scenario on such a large...

2011-05-12 09:55:00

Scientists said on Wednesday the majority of the 500 planets detected around stars besides the Sun appear to spin the same way the star does. However, astronomers found that some of these extrasolar planets spin in the opposite direction of the stars they orbit. These backward-spinning planets usually are gassy giants called hot Jupiters. The scientists said these big planets huddle close to their stars, unlike Jupiter, which is about 483 million miles from the Sun. "That's really weird,...

2011-04-29 08:55:42

An international team of astronomers have revealed details of a "super-exotic" exoplanet that would make the planet Pandora in the movie Avatar pale in comparison. The planet, named 55 Cancri e, is 60 percent larger in diameter than Earth but eight times as massive. Twice as dense as Earth "“ almost as dense as lead "“ it is the densest solid planet known, according to a team led by astronomers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of British...

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
  • 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.