Latest HD 209458 b Stories

2007-02-21 14:20:00

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured for the first time enough light from planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets, to identify signatures of molecules in their atmospheres. The landmark achievement is a significant step toward being able to detect possible life on rocky exoplanets and comes years before astronomers had anticipated. "This is an amazing surprise," said Spitzer project scientist Dr. Michael Werner of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "We...

2007-01-31 12:35:00

The powerful vision of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has allowed astronomers to study for the first time the layer-cake structure of the atmosphere of a planet orbiting another star. Hubble discovered a dense upper layer of hot hydrogen gas where the super-hot planet's atmosphere is bleeding off into space. The planet, designated HD 209458b, is unlike any world in our solar system. It orbits so close to its star and gets so hot that its gas is streaming into space, making the planet appear...

2007-01-09 16:55:00

Earth's inhabitants are used to temperatures that vary, sometimes greatly, between day and night. New measurements for three planets outside our solar system indicate their temperatures remain fairly constant "“ and blazing hot "“ from day to night, even though it is likely one side of each planet always faces its sun and the other is in permanent darkness. The reason apparently is supersonic winds, perhaps as strong as 9,000 miles an hour, that constantly churn the planets'...

2006-11-28 07:57:11

Using the ESPaDOnS spectropolarimeter1 installed on the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope2 (Mauna Kea, Hawaii), an international team of researchers, led by two french astronomers (LESIA, Observatoire de Paris and LATT, Observatoire Midi-Pyr©n©es), has just discovered a magnetic field on tau Bootis, a star orbited by a giant planet on a close-in orbit: the first ever detection of this kind! Up to now, only indirect clues pointed to the presence of magnetic fields on stars hosting...

2006-09-15 15:40:00

Washington, DC- Using a network of small automated telescopes known as HAT, Smithsonian astronomers have discovered a planet unlike any other known world. This new planet, designated HAT-P-1, orbits one member of a pair of distant stars 450 light-years away in the constellation Lacerta. "We could be looking at an entirely new class of planets," said Gaspar Bakos, a Hubble fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). Bakos designed and built the HAT network and is lead...

2006-02-21 18:05:00

NASA -- A NASA-led team of astronomers have used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to detect a strong flow of heat radiation from a toasty planet orbiting a nearby star. The findings allowed the team to "take the temperature" of the planet. "This is the closest extrasolar planet to Earth that has ever been detected directly, and it presents the strongest heat emission ever seen from an exoplanet," said Drake Deming of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. Deming is the lead...

2005-07-01 07:15:00

Longueuil -- Soon after its launch two years ago by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Canada's "Humble Space Telescope" started making amazing observations-beyond the capacity of any other Earth- or space-based instrument. MOST, our suitcase-sized space telescope orbiting at 820 km, can fix its gaze upon a single star for up to eight weeks at a time. And with its unique combination of steady observation time and precision pointing, MOST can look for subtle variations in stars that are...

2005-03-23 00:10:00

JPL -- NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has for the first time captured the light from two known planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. The findings mark the beginning of a new age of planetary science, in which "extrasolar" planets can be directly measured and compared. "Spitzer has provided us with a powerful new tool for learning about the temperatures, atmospheres and orbits of planets hundreds of light-years from Earth," said Dr. Drake Deming of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center,...

2005-03-03 07:45:00

Very Large Telescope Finds Planet-Sized Transiting Star ESO -- An international team of astronomers have accurately determined the radius and mass of the smallest core-burning star known until now. The observations were performed in March 2004 with the FLAMES multi-fibre spectrograph on the 8.2-m VLT Kueyen telescope at the ESO Paranal Observatory (Chile). They are part of a large programme aimed at measuring accurate radial velocities for sixty stars for which a temporary brightness "dip"...

Word of the Day
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'