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Latest Planetary systems Stories

a9c3e9afc4207bc299525d68f39d349a1
2010-06-08 10:12:50

A new robotic telescope has had first light at ESO's La Silla Observatory, in Chile. TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is devoted to the study of planetary systems through two approaches: the detection and characterization of planets located outside the Solar System (exoplanets) and the study of comets orbiting around the Sun. The 60-cm telescope is operated from a control room in Lige, Belgium, 12 000 km away. "The two themes of the TRAPPIST project are...

7e73f8a1ab6386cb3a70f8cf363c39f61
2010-05-24 14:28:22

Astronomers are reporting today the discovery of a planetary system way out of tilt, where the orbits of two planets are at a steep angle to each other. This surprising finding will impact theories of how multi-planet systems evolve, and it shows that some violent events can happen to disrupt planets' orbits after a planetary system forms, say researchers. "The findings mean that future studies of exoplanetary systems will be more complicated. Astronomers can no longer assume all planets...

e1f0e555e2328c58fece3e553c6559251
2010-05-24 13:12:58

Weird orbits of neighbors can make 'habitable' planets not so habitable Astronomers hunting for planets orbiting nearby stars similar to the sun are looking for signs of rocky, Earth-like planets in a "habitable" zone, where conditions such as temperature and liquid water remain stable enough to support life. New findings from computer modeling indicate that some of those exoplanets might fluctuate between being habitable and being inhospitable to life because of the forces exerted by giant...

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2010-02-22 12:05:00

How Do Planets Form? For centuries, astronomers and philosophers wondered how our solar system and its planets came to be. As telescopes advanced and space probes were sent out to explore, we learned more and more about our solar system, which gave us clues to how it might have taken shape. But were our ideas right? We could only see the end result of planet formation, not the process itself. And we had no other examples to study. Even with the knowledge gained about our solar system, we were...

9da9c65f847edf0701d08195ec9937861
2010-02-19 13:26:49

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so University of California, Berkeley, astronomer Paul Kalas found out when he published a Hubble Space Telescope image of a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting the star Fomalhaut. Since it appeared in the journal Science in November 2008, "the image of Fomalhaut, its visually striking belt of comet dust and its planet has become an iconic image of a planetary system," said Kalas, an adjunct associate professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley. National Geographic...

445471493905ba47c77609e7352e6a561
2010-01-07 12:05:00

New simulation presented at astronomy meeting reveals planet migration prevents plunge into sun For the last 20 years, the best models of planet formation"”or how planets grow from dust in a gas disk"”have contradicted the very existence of Earth. These models assumed locally constant temperatures within a disk, and the planets plunge into the Sun. Now, new simulations from researchers at the American Museum of Natural History and the University of Cambridge show that variations...

2010-01-06 15:44:00

GREENBELT, Md., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The most earthlike planet yet found around another star may be the rocky remains of a Saturn-sized gas giant, according to research presented today at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) "The first planets detected outside our solar system 15 years ago turned out to be enormous gas-giants in very tight orbits around their stars. We call them 'hot...

f7a6b9fa12ede153ab756e278a2ac2531
2010-01-06 08:15:00

In their quest to find solar systems analogous to ours, astronomers have determined how common our solar system is. They've concluded that about 15 percent of stars in the galaxy host systems of planets like our own, with several gas giant planets in the outer part of the solar system. "Now we know our place in the universe," said Ohio State University astronomer Scott Gaudi. "Solar systems like our own are not rare, but we're not in the majority, either." Gaudi reported the results of the...

efb981dc2467a861d5e7ea02b186658f
2009-12-03 13:20:00

First finding as part of new research collaboration An international team of scientists that includes an astronomer from Princeton University has made the first direct observation of a planet-like object orbiting a star similar to the sun. The finding marks the first discovery made with the world's newest planet-hunting instrument on the Hawaii-based Subaru Telescope and is the first fruit of a novel research collaboration announced by the University in January. The object, known as GJ 758 B,...

5b5e5265841095a8f83489cf7ae507fa1
2009-11-24 05:40:00

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has contributed to the discovery of the youngest brown dwarf ever observed -- a finding that, if confirmed, may solve an astronomical mystery about how these cosmic misfits are formed. Brown dwarfs are misfits because they fall somewhere between planets and stars in terms of their temperature and mass. They are cooler and more lightweight than stars and more massive (and normally warmer) than planets. This has generated a debate among astronomers: Do brown...


Latest Planetary systems Reference Libraries

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...

6_9e1c3aab8f24d964cf24588309b138472
2004-10-19 04:45:42

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...

6_f3ae28666ea2fe9e06e16221eea19d522
2004-10-19 04:45:41

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...

4_2263b8f4e602bddd69c225b3bc2c46aa2
2004-10-19 04:45:41

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...

3_26342a6670b6131c97d5fc3f8796ebd92
2004-10-19 04:45:40

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...

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Word of the Day
toccata
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.
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