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Latest Planet Stories

Gemini Planet Imager Tracks Down Giant Planet Orbiting Beta Pictoris
2014-01-07 13:47:41

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The internationally operated Gemini Observatory has announced the start-up of its new Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), a device designed to capture images of planets outside our Solar System and probe their atmospheres. The imager, which released its first image on Tuesday, was deployed on the observatory’s 8-meter Gemini South telescope in Chile. "Even these early first-light images are almost a factor of 10 better than the previous...

Storms As Big As Jupiter's 'Great Red Spot' Found On Brown Dwarfs
2014-01-07 11:57:11

[ Watch the Video: Torrential Storm Clouds On Brown Dwarfs ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Most brown dwarfs may contain storms as big as Jupiter’s “Great Red Spot,” according to findings presented at the American Astronomical Society in Washington. Brown dwarfs are a form of star, but lack the mass to fuse atoms continually to turn themselves into a full-fledged star. The celestial bodies are like a cross between a Jupiter-sized gas planet and a star....

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...

Astronomers Search For Cause Of Massive Star Formation
2013-12-21 04:25:12

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online In an attempt to determine why massive stars – those with at least eight times the mass of our Sun – grow so much larger than most other stars in our galaxy, astronomers used the ALMA telescope to examine the cores of Infrared Dark Clouds roughly 10,000 light-years away. Infrared Dark Clouds are located in the direction of the constellations of Aquila and Scutum, and they are among the darkest, densest and coldest clouds in...

New Technique Measuring Exoplanet Mass
2013-12-19 15:52:43

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new technique developed by a team at MIT could help scientists determine the mass of exoplanets, using just their transmission spectra. Scientists have discovered more than 900 exoplanets outside our solar system so far, and more are being found every week. Hunting for exoplanets takes a combination of patience, the right equipment and technique. Space telescopes help keep watch for dimming starlight, indicating that an exoplanet...

Brown Dwarf Binary System May Include A Hidden Planet
2013-12-17 04:15:33

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Analysis of the two brown dwarfs located closest to the sun suggests that there could actually be a third, previously undetected planetary-mass object, according to research published as a letter to the editor in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. Brown dwarfs, which are failed stars that have a mass of less than 8 percent the mass of the sun, are not massive enough to burn hydrogen in their centers. The system at the...

Where Brown Dwarfs End And Stars Begin
2013-12-15 04:37:49

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Stars form as interstellar gas accumulates, increasing in density and temperature. Eventually, the environment at the core of the object reaches a state where hydrogen begins fusing at a high enough rate that the outward radiation pressure and the inward gravitational force reach a balance, and a star is born. However, if the forming proto-star is not quite massive enough, the fusion process is not able to produce enough...

Astronomers Puzzled By Discovery Of Giant Planet Orbiting Distant Star
2013-12-05 12:56:55

[ Watch the Video: What Planet Has Astronomers Puzzled? ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers have found the most distant orbiting planet to date, and the puzzling discovery is effectively throwing a wrench in planet formation theories. Scientists reported in The Astrophysical Journal Letters that exoplanet HD 106906 b is orbiting its star at 650 times the average Earth-Sun distance. "This system is especially fascinating because no model of either...

Dawn Mission Details
2013-12-04 10:18:43

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA officials have just announced the schedule for the spacecraft Dawn’s approach and activities at the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. The NASA probe is slated to arrive at Ceres in late March or the beginning of April 2015 – 30 months after investigating a similar proto-planet called Vesta. "Our flight plan around Ceres will be choreographed to be very similar to the...


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...

8_2c71772f2c3a31994d5208d4518632494
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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Word of the Day
cacodemon
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'
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