Latest Extrasolar planets Stories

2010-12-08 14:30:00

NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics releases image of fourth planet orbiting bright star HR 8799 An international team of astronomers has discovered a fourth giant planet, HR 8799e, outside our solar system. The new planet joins the three planets that were the subjects of the first-ever images of a planetary family orbiting a star other than our Sun. The planets orbit the star HR 8799, which lies about 129 light years from Earth and is faintly visible to the naked eye. The international...

2010-12-01 12:50:00

The atmosphere around a super-Earth exoplanet has been analyzed for the first time by an international team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope. The planet, which is known as GJ 1214b, was studied as it passed in front of its parent star and some of the starlight passed through the planet's atmosphere. We now know that the atmosphere is either mostly water in the form of steam or is dominated by thick clouds or hazes. The results will appear in the 2 December 2010 issue of the...

2010-11-18 13:55:00

Galactic cannibalism brings an exoplanet of extragalactic origin within astronomers' reach An exoplanet orbiting a star that entered our Milky Way from another galaxy has been detected by a European team of astronomers using the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. The Jupiter-like planet is particularly unusual, as it is orbiting a star nearing the end of its life and could be about to be engulfed by it, giving tantalizing clues about the fate of our own...

2010-10-19 13:45:00

Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveal a distant planet with a warm spot in the wrong place. The gas-giant planet, named upsilon Andromedae b, orbits tightly around its star, with one face perpetually boiling under the star's heat. It belongs to a class of planets termed hot Jupiters, so called for their scorching temperatures and large, gaseous constitutions. One might think the hottest part of these planets would be directly under the sun-facing side, but previous...

2010-10-16 09:45:00

UA astronomers have developed a way to see faint planets previously hidden in their star's glare. The new mode enables scientists to search for planets closer to the star than has been previously possible.Using new optics technology developed at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory, an international team of astronomers has obtained images of a planet on a much closer orbit around its parent star than any other extrasolar planet previously found.The discovery, published online in...

2010-09-09 15:02:58

Bad news for planet hunters: most of the "hot Jupiters" that astronomers have been searching for in star clusters were likely destroyed long ago by their stars. In a paper accepted for publication by the Astrophysical Journal, John Debes and Brian Jackson of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., offer this new explanation for why no transiting planets (planets that pass in front of their stars and temporarily block some of the light) have been found yet in star clusters. The...

2010-08-31 12:27:34

Any driver who's seen deer silhouetted by the headlights of an oncoming car knows that vital information can be conveyed by the outlines of objects. Building on this concept, University of Florida astronomers have analyzed light passing through the upper atmosphere of the giant planet HD 80606 b, about 190 light years from Earth, and determined that its atmosphere contains the element potassium. "It's wonderful that this method works so well for Jupiter-sized planets," said Knicole...

2010-08-24 08:20:00

Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have discovered five planets orbiting a star in what is being called by the AFP news agency "the biggest discovery of so-called exoplanets since the first was logged 15 years ago." The ESO astronomers discovered the planetary system around a sun-like star called HD 10180. Using the HARPS spectrograph, they also reportedly discovered evidence which suggests that there may be two additional planets present in orbit around the celestial...

2010-07-28 12:44:10

Hundreds of extrasolar planets have been found over the past decade and a half, most of them solitary worlds orbiting their parent star in seeming isolation. With further observation, however, one in three of these systems have been found to have two or more planets. Planets, it appears, come in bunches. Most of these systems contain planets that orbit too far from one another to feel each other's gravity. In just a handful of cases, planets have been found near enough to one another to...

2010-07-15 09:25:00

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. Observations taken with Hubble's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) suggest powerful stellar winds are sweeping the cast-off atmospheric material behind the scorched planet and shaping it into a comet-like tail. "Since 2003 scientists...

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 unit of magnetic flux density in the International System of Units, equal to the magnitude of the magnetic field vector necessary to produce a force of one newton on a charge of one coulomb moving perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field vector with a velocity of one meter per second. It is equivalent to one weber per square meter.
This word is named for Nikola Tesla, the inventor, engineer, and futurist.