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The Most Precise Measurement Of An Alien Worlds Size

The Most Precise Measurement Of An Alien World's Size

Whitney Clavin, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Thanks to NASA's Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes, scientists have made the most precise measurement ever of the radius of a planet outside our solar system. The size of the exoplanet, dubbed...

Latest Kepler Stories

James Webb Space Telescope
2014-07-15 08:58:58

NASA Many scientists believe we are not alone in the universe. It's probable, they say, that life could have arisen on at least some of the billions of planets thought to exist in our galaxy alone -- just as it did here on planet Earth. This basic question about our place in the Universe is one that may be answered by scientific investigations. What are the next steps to finding life elsewhere? Experts from NASA and its partner institutions addressed this question on Monday, July 14, at...

exoplanet Artist concept
2014-07-12 04:15:39

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The holy grail of planetary astronomy is to find a solar system that mirrors our own. While a lot of effort has been placed on finding a planet with Earth-like properties – the right size, an atmosphere, the right temperature – are of equal importance in the search for a Sun-like star. Such a glowing orb would need to have a similar mass, temperature, and spectral type. These parameters are somewhat easy to measure, but...

Two Ancient Worlds Discovered In Neighboring Galactic Cluster
2014-06-04 07:02:00

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using new data from the HARPS spectrometer at the ESO’s La Silla observatory in Chile, an international team of scientists have discovered two exoplanets orbiting a nearby ancient star. Kapteyn’s star, named after Jacobus Kapteyn, who discovered the star in the 19th century, is a red dwarf and one of the two planets in its grasp sits at the right spot where life could form. Led by Queen Mary University of London, the...

Two Planets Will Be Eaten By Their Star
2014-06-02 03:21:55

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Two worlds orbiting a distant star are about to become a snack of cosmic proportions. Astronomers announced on Monday that the planets Kepler-56b and Kepler-56c will be swallowed by their star in a short time by astronomical standards. Their ends will come in 130 million and 155 million years, respectively. "As far as we know, this is the first time two known exoplanets in a single system have a predicted 'time of death,'" says lead author...

Exoplanets Come In Three "Neapolitan" Flavors
2014-06-02 03:09:48

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics The planets of our solar system come in two basic flavors, like vanilla and chocolate ice cream. We have small, rocky terrestrials like Earth and Mars, and large gas giants like Neptune and Jupiter. We're missing the astronomical equivalent of strawberry ice cream - planets between about one and four times the size of Earth. NASA's Kepler mission has discovered that these types of planets are very common around other stars. New research...

Astronomers Discover The "Mega-Earth"
2014-06-02 03:30:17

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomers announced on Monday that they have discovered a new type of planet - a rocky world weighing 17 times as much as Earth. Theorists believed such a world couldn't form because anything so hefty would grab hydrogen gas as it grew and become a Jupiter-like gas giant. This planet, though, is all solids and much bigger than previously discovered "super-Earths," making it a "mega-Earth." "We were very surprised when we realized what we had...

New Projects Look To Ramp Up The Search For Intelligent ETs
2014-05-22 12:11:50

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) has been a long yet relatively quiet one. First discussed in 1896 when famed inventor Nikola Tesla claimed that his wireless electrical transmission system could potentially be used to contact beings on Mars, scientists have continually developed increasingly sophisticated instruments over the years to reach out to intelligent life in the cosmos. While we know today that there...

kepler to begin round two
2014-05-18 04:55:20

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Believed to be retired for good after breaking down last year, the Kepler spacecraft has been revived and will be part of a newly-approved NASA mission to seek out new exoplanets while also expanding its role into the realm of astrophysical observations, the US space agency revealed on Friday. “The team received good news from NASA HQ – the K2 mission, the two-wheel operation mode of the Kepler spacecraft observing in the...

Search For Life On Exoplanets May Be More Difficult Than Previously Thought
2014-04-30 03:25:19

Don Campbell, University of Toronto Scarborough A new study from the University of Toronto Scarborough suggests the search for life on planets outside our solar system may be more difficult than previously thought. The study, authored by a team of international researchers led by UTSC Assistant Professor Hanno Rein from the Department of Physical and Environmental Science, finds the method used to detect biosignatures on such planets, known as exoplanets, can produce a false positive...

Mysteries Of Nearby Planetary System's Dynamics Are Now Solved
2014-04-22 12:33:58

Penn State Mysteries of one of the most fascinating nearby planetary systems now have been solved, report authors of a scientific paper to be published by the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in its early online edition on 22 April 2014. The study, which presents the first viable model for the planetary system orbiting one the first stars discovered to have planets -- the star named 55 Cancri -- was led by Penn State University graduate student Benjamin Nelson in...


Word of the Day
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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