Latest Planet Stories

gas giant planet HD 209458b
2014-07-24 07:35:40

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have gone looking for water vapor in the atmospheres of three planets orbiting stars similar to the sun -- and have come up nearly dry.

2014-07-22 05:09:31

A group of astronomers working at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) has discovered a transiting exoplanet, named Kepler 421b, with the longest known year of any of the 1,800 exoplanets discovered so far.

asteroid Vesta
2014-07-18 05:31:53

An investigation of Vesta, a massive asteroid that orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, has revealed that the planet-like body has a thicker crust than previously thought, which calls into question the internal structures of other planets in the Solar System.

2014-07-17 23:01:42

Lawrence Livermore scientists for the first time have experimentally re-created the conditions that exist deep inside giant planets by crushing diamond samples using the world's most powerful

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

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 – of equal importance is the search for a Sun-like star.

Distant Earths May Need Balanced Friction Tides To Support Life
2014-07-10 12:52:42

Friction generates heat and NASA scientists have developed a computer model that shows that friction may help distant Earth-sized planets survive dangerous orbits.

Worldwide Contest To Name Exoplanets And Their Host Stars
2014-07-09 03:48:54

For the first time, in response to the public’s increased interest in being part of discoveries in astronomy, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is organizing a worldwide contest to give popular names to selected exoplanets along with their host stars.

New Evidence Suggests Mercury Was Formed From A Stellar Collision
2014-07-08 10:50:50

Planet Mercury has an unusual metal-rich composition which has baffled the scientific community. However, new evidence may have solved this mystery.

newly discovered planet in binary system
2014-07-04 04:31:19

Astronomers have located a new terrestrial planet in a binary star system located roughly 3,000 light-years from Earth, according to new research appearing in the July 4 edition of the journal Science.

Astronomers Use AKARI Orbiting Observatory To Map Space’s Icy Wastes
2014-06-26 03:40:16

Using the AKARI orbiting observatory, astronomers from the Open University have made the first large-scale maps of icy material where stars are forming.

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
  • A pivoted catch designed to fall into a notch on a ratchet wheel so as to allow movement in only one direction (e.g. on a windlass or in a clock mechanism), or alternatively to move the wheel in one direction.
The word 'pawl' probably comes from a Latin word meaning 'stake'.