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Latest Planet Stories

Mars Craters for Cash
2014-03-12 04:14:57

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Bad news for those who spent $5 to have a Mars crater named after themselves, a significant other or a beloved pet: the International Astronomical Union (IAU) confirmed on Tuesday that those purchased names will not be allowed to appear on official maps and globes. The naming program, announced last month by science advocacy start-up Uwingu, allowed users to go online and pay $5 for the right to place a moniker on one of the...

NASA's WISE Spacecraft Has Yet To Uncover Planet 'X' Beyond Pluto
2014-03-10 08:36:02

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online While NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has uncovered thousands of new stars during its multi-year mission, it has been unable to collect any evidence supporting the supposed existence of a large but unseen celestial body believed to be located somewhere beyond Pluto’s orbit. This supposed celestial body is commonly referred to as “Planet X” -- alternatively “Nemesis” or “Tyche." However, despite the...

2014-03-07 16:20:12

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After searching hundreds of millions of objects across our sky, NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has turned up no evidence of the hypothesized celestial body in our solar system commonly dubbed "Planet X." http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO Researchers previously had theorized about the existence of this large, but unseen celestial body, suspected to lie somewhere beyond the orbit of Pluto. In...

Kepler Space Telescope Marks Five Years in Space
2014-03-07 11:47:49

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Exactly five years ago, on March 6, 2009, NASA's Kepler Space Telescope rocketed into the night skies above Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to find planets around other stars, called exoplanets, in search of potentially habitable worlds. Since then, Kepler has unveiled a whole new side of our galaxy -- one that is teeming with planets. Because of Kepler, we now know that most stars have planets, Earth-sized planets are common, and planets...

Exoplanet Atmospheres
2014-03-05 07:53:33

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The holy grail of planetary astronomy is the search for a potentially habitable planet, or even better, one that is shown to already contain life. There are various parameters that are needed in order to ascertain the habitability of worlds, such as whether liquid water can be sustained on its surface. Recent studies, however, have found that identifying some of these characteristics is rather difficult, and we may in fact...

hypothetical planet with two moons orbiting in the habitable zone of a red dwarf star
2014-03-04 12:04:51

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A team of astronomers from the UK and Chile have discovered three new planets classified as Super Earths. The planets are part of a group of eight new planets discovered orbiting nearby red dwarf stars. This study shows that virtually all red dwarfs have planets orbiting around them. Astronomers used the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) and Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) telescopes for the...

New Project Allows Citizens To Name All Unnamed Craters On Mars
2014-02-28 12:27:52

[ Watch the Video: How Can You Leave Your Mark On Mars? ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online With a population of over 7 billion, leaving your mark on Earth it pretty difficult these days. However, leaving you mark on Mars just got a little easier. For just five bucks, the science advocacy start-up Uwingu is allowing anyone with an internet connection to name one of the 500,000 unnamed craters on Mars after themselves, their loved one, a pet or anything else....

New Austrian Study Suggests Super-Earths Are Unfit For Life
2014-02-27 12:56:13

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The last two decades have brought unprecedented understanding of worlds outside of our solar system. The launch of the Kepler space telescope and other instruments have allowed astronomers to find and characterize hundreds of new planets, with thousands more candidates waiting to be confirmed. As our technology continues to improve, we will be able to isolate smaller and smaller planets, eventually identifying Earth-sized...

2014-02-26 16:22:31

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Kepler mission announced Wednesday the discovery of 715 new planets. These newly-verified worlds orbit 305 stars, revealing multiple-planet systems much like our own solar system. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO Nearly 95 percent of these planets are smaller than Neptune, which is almost four times the size of Earth. This discovery marks a significant increase in the number of known small-sized...

NASA's Kepler Mission Has Discovered 715 New Exoplanets
2014-02-26 14:52:57

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA announced on Wednesday that its Kepler mission has discovered 715 new planets orbiting 305 stars. The space agency said that 95 percent of the newly discovered worlds are smaller than Neptune, which is about four times the size of Earth. NASA added that this discovery marks an increase in the number of known small-sized planets that are similar to Earth than any previously identified exoplanets. "The Kepler team continues to...


Latest Planet Reference Libraries

Planetary Astronomy
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: Artistic concept of a planetary system. Credit: Wikipedia/NASA/JPL-Caltech The term Astronomy encompasses a broad range of topics, including the study of stars, galaxies, and planets. In order to focus on the different areas of study, many subfields of astronomy emerge. One such area is the study of planets known, appropriately, as Planetary Astronomy. Observational Planetary Astronomy Even within the field of Planetary Astronomy, there are several divisions to...

Planetary and Space Science
2012-05-28 10:21:45

Planetary and Space Science is a peer-reviewed scientific journal established in 1959 and published by Elsevier 15 times per year. As of May 2012, the editor-in-chief is Rita Schulz (The Netherlands). The journal publishes original research articles and short communications. The main focus is on solar system processes which encompass multiple areas of the natural sciences. Research that involves planetary and space sciences involves many disciplines. Celestial mechanics is part of these...

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2004-10-19 04:45:44

Terraforming -- Terraforming (literally, "Earth-shaping") is the process of modifying a planet, moon or other body to a more habitable atmosphere, temperature or ecology. The term was first used in a science fiction novel, 'Seetee Shock' (1940?) by Jack Williamson, but the actual concept is older than that. An example in fiction is 'First and Last Men' by Olaf Stapledon in which Venus is modified, after a long and destructive war with the original inhabitants, who naturally object to the...

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2004-10-19 04:45:44

Cosmogony -- Cosmogony is the study of the origins of celestial objects. It is most commonly used to refer to the study of the origin of the solar system. Currently, the most widely accepted theory is that the solar system was formed roughly 5 billion years ago with the collapse of a nebula of gas and dust, likely caused by shock waves generated by a nearby supernova. The solar system would have formed as a member of a star cluster, now long-since dispersed throughout the Milky Way over...

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2004-10-19 04:45:43

Terrestrial Planet Finder -- The Terrestrial Planet Finder is a proposed NASA telescope system capable of detecting extrasolar terrestrial planets. In May 2002, NASA chose two TPF mission architecture concepts for further study and technology development. Each would use a different means to achieve the same goal - to block the light from a parent star in order to see its much smaller, dimmer planets. That technology challenge has been likened to finding a firefly near the beam of...

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