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Latest Kepler Stories

Planet's Wild Ride Caught By Kepler Space telescope
2014-02-05 05:09:28

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online NASA’s Kepler space telescope has located a new planet that wobbles wildly on its axis much like a spinning toy top, with its tilt varying by as much as 30 degrees over an 11 year span, the US space agency announced Tuesday. The planet, which has been named Kepler-413b, follows an unusual 66-day orbit around a binary system comprised of an orange and red dwarf star. The planet, which is located 2,300 light-years away in the...

2014-02-04 16:21:10

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Imagine living on a planet with seasons so erratic you would hardly know whether to wear Bermuda shorts or a heavy overcoat. That is the situation on a weird, wobbly world found by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The planet, designated Kepler-413b, precesses, or wobbles, wildly on its spin axis, much like a child's top. The tilt of the planet's spin axis can...

Study Gives Insight Into How Skywalker's Tatooine May Have Formed
2014-01-31 13:03:26

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Tatooine, a fictional planet with two stars that is best known as the home of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movie franchise, may not be as farfetched as one might think. Scientists from the University of Bristol studied Tatooine’s real world counterparts: circumbinary planets. These planets, like Kepler-34(AB)b, have an orbit that encompasses two stars, and the latest study gives insight into what Skywalker’s home might have...

Exoplanet Discovered Thanks To Its Orbit Around A Bright Star
2014-01-23 04:41:44

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online An international group of astronomers has discovered a new, roughly Neptune-sized exoplanet orbiting the brightest star in a binary system more than 400 light years from Earth, according to a study appearing in the most recent edition of The Astrophysical Journal. The study authors, who were working out of the Stellar Astrophysics Centre in Denmark, found the new planet by studying the star around which it revolves. They...

New Technique Measures Exoplanet Composition
2014-01-09 09:59:15

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Scientists have successfully measured the masses of approximately 60 exoplanets discovered by the Kepler space telescope – research that will help them determine the composition of these planets and ultimately whether or not they are capable of supporting life. Their findings, which were presented Monday during the 223rd annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Washington, DC, covered planets located outside...

Exoplanet Gassy Earth
2014-01-07 09:54:01

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The holy grail of planet hunting is to find the first Earth-like world. While candidates have been found, there has yet to be confirmation about their particular characteristics. However, a new discovery, made possible by an international team of astronomers, has located the first confirmed Earth-mass planet occulting -- that is, passing in front of -- its host star. Even though the tiny world has the same mass as our planet,...

Rocky Exoplanets Too Hot To Support Life: Kepler Data
2014-01-07 05:07:34

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA’s Kepler spacecraft team reported details about five new rocky planets on Monday at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington. Kepler has helped scientists discover hundreds of exoplanets, and astronomers at the event reported on four years of follow-up observations, as well as describing the new rocky planets discovered. According to the latest findings, Kepler-99b and Kepler-406b are 40 percent larger in size...

2013-12-03 23:02:08

A census of planets outside our solar system pierces the haze surrounding five "hot Jupiters" to find conclusive signs of atmospheric water. College Park, Md (PRWEB) December 03, 2013 Using the powerful eye of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, two teams of scientists have found faint signatures of water in the atmospheres of five distant planets. The presence of atmospheric water was reported previously on a few exoplanets – planets orbiting stars beyond our solar system....

Sunny Outlook For NASA Kepler's Second Light
2013-11-26 12:09:10

NASA You may have thought that NASA's Kepler spacecraft was finished. Well, think again. A repurposed Kepler Space telescope may soon start searching the sky again. A new mission concept, dubbed K2, would continue Kepler's search for other worlds, and introduce new opportunities to observe star clusters, young and old stars, active galaxies and supernovae. In May, the Kepler spacecraft lost the second of four gyroscope-like reaction wheels, which are used to precisely point the...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'