Latest Planetary systems Stories
We may not yet be able to assume that intelligent-life exists on other planets, but a team of Australian scientists are confident there are plenty of planets within our galaxy capable of supporting it--hundreds of billions of “Earth-like” planets, in fact.
Scientists use laser-driving compression experiments (cool) to recreate the planetary formation process (even cooler).
On Tuesday, researchers working with data from NASA's Kepler space telescope announced the discovery of eight new ‘exoplanets’ located in the Goldilocks zone at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
The discovery was made when astronomers and engineers devised an ingenious way to repurpose Kepler for the K2 mission and continue its search of the cosmos for other worlds.
To find other planets, conventional wisdom would tell you to follow the stars. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory, however, tell us to follow the dust.
The first images captured with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array's new high-resolution capabilities have given researchers their best look ever at the process of planet formation around an infant star.
Beta Pictoris is a young star located about 63 light-years from the Sun. It is only about 20 million years old and is surrounded by a huge disc of material — a very active young planetary system where gas and dust are produced by the evaporation of comets and the collisions of asteroids.
Using the European Southern Observatory's Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, astronomers have observed what seems to be windy weather surrounding a T Tauri star—considered to be an infant analog of our own Sun.
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...
Solar Nebula -- In astronomy, the solar nebula is the gaseous cloud from which, in the so-called nebular hypothesis of the origin of the solar system, the Sun and planets formed by condensation. In 1755 the German philosopher Immanuel Kant suggested that a nebula in slow rotation, gradually pulled together by its own gravitational force and flattened into a spinning disk, gave birth to the Sun and planets. A similar model, but with the planets being formed before the Sun, was proposed...
Extrasolar Planet -- An extrasolar planet is a planet orbiting around a star other than the Sun. Extrasolar planets were first discovered in the 1990s as a result of improved telescope technology, CCD and computer-based image processing which allowed far more accurate measurements of stellar motions. The first extrasolar planets were reported by the astronomer Aleksander Wolszczan in 1993, orbiting the pulsar PSR 1257+12. Subsequent investigation has determined that they are only planets...
Asteroid Belt -- The Asteroid belt is a region of the solar system falling roughly between the planets Mars and Jupiter where the greatest concentration of asteroid orbits can be found. It is believed that, during the first million years of the solar system history, planets formed by accretion of planetesimals. Ripetute collisions led to the familiar rocky planets and to the gas giant's cores. However, in this zone of the system the strong gravity of Jupiter inhibited the final stages...
Epsilon Eridani -- Epsilon Eridani is a main-sequence star in the constellation of Eridanus (the river). It is often used in science fiction because it is extremely sunlike, and in the fictional Star Trek universe it is the home sun of the planet Vulcan which is home to Mr. Spock. It is the third closest star visible without a telescope. It has 85% of the Sun's mass, almost that much of its diameter, and 28% of its luminosity. It is 10.5 light years from Earth. Its spectrum is...
- A morbid dread of being buried alive. Also spelled 'taphiphobia'.