Latest Planet Stories

2014-05-02 04:00:57

NASA/JPL NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured its first-ever image of the pale blue ice-giant planet Uranus in the distance beyond Saturn's rings. The robotic spacecraft briefly turned its gaze away from the ringed beauty of Saturn on April 11, 2014, to observe the distant planet, which is the seventh planet from the sun. The planets Uranus and Neptune are sometimes referred to as "ice giants" to distinguish them from their larger siblings, Jupiter and Saturn, the classic "gas...

Artist’s impression of the planet Beta Pictoris b
2014-04-30 12:55:00

European Southern Observatory VLT measures the spin of Beta Pictoris b Observations from ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) have, for the first time, determined the rotation rate of an exoplanet. Beta Pictoris b has been found to have a day that lasts only eight hours. This is much quicker than any planet in the Solar System — its equator is moving at almost 100,000 kilometers per hour. This new result extends the relation between mass and rotation seen in the Solar System to...

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...

wise brown dwarf
2014-04-25 12:21:48

NASA NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered what appears to be the coldest "brown dwarf" known -- a dim, star-like body that, surprisingly, is as frosty as Earth's North Pole. Images from the space telescopes also pinpointed the object's distance to 7.2 light-years away, earning it the title for fourth closest system to our sun. The closest system, a trio of stars, is Alpha Centauri, at about 4 light-years away. "It's very...

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...

Magdalena Ridge Observatory
2014-04-18 07:28:01

Whitney Clavin, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory The New Mexico Exoplanet Spectroscopic Survey Instrument (NESSI) will soon get its first "taste" of exoplanets, helping astronomers decipher their chemical composition. Exoplanets are planets that orbit stars beyond our sun. NESSI got its first peek at the sky on April 3, 2014. It looked at Pollux, a star in the Gemini constellation, and Arcturus, in the Boötes constellation, confirming that all modes of the instrument are working....

2014-04-17 23:10:35

Vito Technology has announced the release of their award-winning Solar Walk app for Android platform. Solar Walk is a stunning real-time interactive 3D model of the Solar system and the Milky Way galaxy. (PRWEB) April 17, 2014 Vito Technology has announced the release of their award-winning solar system model Solar Walk for Android. The Android version includes everything one needs to understand about the celestial mechanics of the solar system in the best possible visualization with...

2014-04-17 16:21:08

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO While planets...

Astronomers Using Kepler Telescope Discover First Earth-Sized Exoplanet Within The Habitable Zone
2014-04-17 15:09:39

[ Watch the Video: Kepler Discovers First Earth-Sized Exoplanet In Habitable Zone ] Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A potential game changer in the hunt for life outside our neighborhood has just been discovered about 493 light years away. Using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have found a rocky planet that is similar in size to Earth and is within the “habitable zone” of the star it orbits. The discovery of this planet, called Kepler-186f,...

Tilted orbits
2014-04-16 04:31:03

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online While experts have long believed that life could not exist on planets with a fluctuating tilt in their orbits, new research appearing in the April issue of the journal Astrobiology suggests that such obliquity variations could actually increase the planetary habitability in those worlds. According to Weber State University physics professor John Armstrong, University of Washington astronomer Rory Barnes and their colleagues, these...

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...

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...

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...

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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Word of the Day
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'