Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 21:23 EDT

Latest Gas giant Stories

Gas Giant Exoplanets Close To Parent Stars
2013-06-28 09:34:28

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Results from the Gemini Observatory's recently completed Planet-Finding Campaign, the most extensive direct imaging survey to date, reveal the outlying orbital space around many types of stars is largely devoid of gas-giant planets, which appear to remain close to their parent stars. The findings could have a significant impact on theories of planetary formation. "It seems that gas-giant exoplanets are like clinging offspring,"...

Electrifying Exoplanets With Stellar Winds
2013-06-04 11:10:37

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online When scientists began seeking out planets outside of our solar system, they anticipated seeing systems much like our own. Small, rocky worlds orbiting a couple of astronomical units from the host star, with the gas giant planets orbiting farther out. After all, much effort had been given to explaining how a solar system such as ours would form. Only, this is not what has been found. Many solar systems are constructed...

Weather Forecasting For Hot Jupiters
2013-05-25 06:34:23

[ Watch the Video: Big Weather on Hot Jupiters ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The class of new worlds dubbed as “hot Jupiters” definitely live up to their name, according to new research that has recorded temperatures as high as 2400 degrees Kelvin (or more than 3800 degrees Fahrenheit) on one of these massive, close-orbiting exoplanets. According to NASA, those temperature readings were observed on a gas giant named HAT-P-2b by Nikole Lewis, a...

Charting Massive Winds On Gas Giants Of The Outer Solar System
2013-05-17 07:51:59

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Predicting the weather is difficult. With varying pressures, planetary rotation and various other factors, weather systems on Earth border on chaos. But, believe it or not, predicting the weather on the third rock from the sun is rather straightforward compared to predicting the atmospheric motions of the gas giants that lay beyond the asteroid belt. The primary reason is that, unlike Earth, the Jovian worlds do not have...

Hot Jupiters More Nuanced Than Expected
2013-05-07 10:16:25

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online In addition to the eight beloved planets circling our Sun, our galaxy is literally teeming with an enormous variety of planets. More than 800 of the so-called exoplanets have been identified circling stars beyond our solar system. And several different “species” of exoplanets have been discovered as well, including so-called ℠roasters´ or ℠hot Jupiters,´ which are gas giants like our own Jupiter that...

Researchers Shed Light On Why Saturn Looks So Young
2013-04-30 14:52:47

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online At the dawn of our Solar System the planets were very hot, as the energy from their creation lingered. But over time the planets would cool, becoming darker, only occasionally paused in this process by large impacts or radioactive decay. At least that is what we would expect. A mystery that has puzzled scientists for half a century revolves around the appearance of the planet Saturn. The second largest planet in our Solar...

Exoplanet May Have Formed Through Core Accretion
2013-03-15 05:33:23

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An international team of astronomers has made the most detailed examination to date of the atmosphere around a Jupiter-like exoplanet using the Keck Observatory, one of the two largest optical telescopes in the world. The young exoplanet, orbiting the star HR 8799, has water and carbon monoxide in its atmosphere. It does not, however, have methane, suggesting that a particular planet-forming mechanism, known as core accretion, brought...

Giants Like Jupiter May Have Formed In The Gas Disk Of Young Stars
2013-03-06 06:18:35

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online New research from Carnegie Institution for Science looks at how gas giants similar to Jupiter and Saturn formed and evolved. Using theoretical modeling, lead researcher Alan Boss provides clues that gas giants may form in the presence of gas disks that surround stars in their infancy. The work was recently published in the Astrophysical Journal. By observing young stars that are surrounded by gas disks, Boss demonstrated that...

Planet Forming Gas Streams Revealed
2013-01-02 12:09:51

[ Video 1 ] | [ Video 2 ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Listen to the podcast “How Planets Form” with redOrbit's Dr. John Millis and planet-hunting expert Dr. Eric Mamajek of the University of Rochester. Astronomers who made observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope are helping to shed light on planet-forming gas streams. The international team of astronomers studied the young star HD 142527, seeing a key...

Astronomers Discover Comets Scattered Throughout Planetary Systems
2012-11-27 14:21:31

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Astronomers have discovered vast comet belts that are surrounding two nearby planetary systems using the European Space Agency's (ESA) Herschel space observatory. Scientists found that that nearby planetary systems, GJ 581 and 61 Vir, have been found to host vast amounts of cometary debris. The ESA observatory detected the signatures of cold dust in quantities that mean these systems must have at least 10 times more...

Latest Gas giant Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Terrestrial Planet -- A terrestrial planet is a planet that is mostly composed of silicate rocks and may or may not have a relatively thin atmosphere. The term is derived from the Greek word for Earth, so an alternate definition would be those planets that are more Earth-like than not. Terrestrial planets are very different from gas giants, which may or may not have solid surfaces and are composed mostly of hydrogen and helium in various physical states. Only one terrestrial planet,...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Planet -- A planet is a body of considerable mass that orbits a star and that doesn't produce energy through nuclear fusion. Until recently, only nine were known (all of them in our own Solar system). As of the end of 2002 over 100 are known, with all of the new discoveries being extrasolar planets. Astronomers often call asteroids minor planets, and call the larger planetary bodies (those which are commonly called planets) major planets. Planets within the solar system can be...

Gas Giant
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Gas Giant -- A gas giant is a generic astronomical term invented by the science fiction writer James Blish to describe any large planet that is not composed mostly of rock or other solid matter. Gas giants may still have a solid core - in fact, it is expected that such a core is probably required for a gas giant to form - but the majority of its mass is in the form of gas (or gas compressed into a liquid state). Unlike rocky planets, gas giants do not have a well-defined surface. There...

Solar System
2012-10-22 06:09:41

The Solar System refers to the area in space that is dominated by our own Sun. It is comprised of the Sun and its associated astronomical objects that are held in its gravitational orbit. The Solar System was formed as a result of the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The mass of this system is located almost entirely in the Sun. Apart from the Sun, a high percentage of the remainder of the system’s mass is located in the eight solitary planets that...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Neptune -- Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun. It is a gas giant. Orbiting so far from the sun, Neptune receives very little heat. Its 'surface' temperature is -218 degrees Celsius (below zero). However, the planet seems to have an internal source of heat. It is thought that this may be leftover heat generated by infalling matter during the planet's birth, now slowly radiating away into space. Neptune's atmosphere has the highest wind speeds in the solar system, up to...

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