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Latest Planetary systems Stories

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...

ce37aa554c06abd49f0c3fd36125794f1
2009-10-22 09:50:00

This week, Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a special issue devoted to the early results obtained with the CoRoT space mission. It includes 55 articles dealing with the primary goals of the CoRoT mission, that is, exoplanet hunting and asteroseismology, and also with other topics in stellar physics. Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a special issue this week dedicated to the early results of the CoRoT space mission [1]. The CoRoT (Convection, Rotation & planetary...

6605e28c1f06f656f7b9e1c6203e70741
2009-10-20 13:05:00

Peering far beyond our solar system, NASA researchers have detected the basic chemistry for life in a second hot gas planet, advancing astronomers toward the goal of being able to characterize planets where life could exist. The planet is not habitable but it has the same chemistry that, if found around a rocky planet in the future, could indicate the presence of life. "It's the second planet outside our solar system in which water, methane and carbon dioxide have been found, which are...

2009-10-07 07:44:00

Tipping point in planet formation found by new simulations Some stars are lonely behemoths, with no surrounding planets or asteroids, while others sport a skirt of attendant planetary bodies. New research published this week in The Astrophysical Journal Letters explains why the composition of the stars often indicates whether their light shines into deep space, or whether a small fraction shines onto orbiting planets. When a star forms, collapsing from a dense cloud into a luminous ball, it...

0e76c1e909561397a6c2b1a0a8018e5e1
2009-09-25 06:10:00

Astronomers using the twin 10-meter telescopes at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii have explored one of the most compact dust disks ever resolved around another star. If placed in our own solar system, the disk would span about four times Earth's distance from the sun, reaching nearly to Jupiter's orbit. The compact inner disk is accompanied by an outer disk that extends hundreds of times farther. The centerpiece of the study is the Keck Interferometer Nuller (KIN), a device that combines...

2009-08-28 08:43:00

GREENBELT, Md., Aug. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The dust-filled disks where new planets may be forming around other stars occasionally take on some difficult-to-understand shapes. Now, a team led by John Debes at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., finds that a star's motion through interstellar gas can account for many of them. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) "The disks contain small comet- or asteroid-like bodies that may grow to form...

da07b135da2628c783099df8c58e1c6b1
2009-08-19 08:55:00

New images released today by ESO delve into the heart of a cosmic cloud, called RCW 38, crowded with budding stars and planetary systems. There, young, titanic stars bombard fledgling suns and planets with powerful winds and blazing light, helped in their devastating task by short-lived, massive stars that explode as supernovae. In some cases, this energetic onslaught cooks away the matter that may eventually form new solar systems. Scientists think that our own Solar System emerged from such...

2009-08-13 19:56:20

An Australian magazine is giving people a chance to send a message to far-distant planets, assuming anyone is out there to listen. The messages would be sent to Gliese 581d, a water-covered world eight times the size of Earth, COSMOS Magazine said. The planet, 20 light years from Earth, is the closest Earth-type planet discovered so far. It's like a 'message in a bottle' cast out into the stars, said Wilson da Silva, editor of COSMOS. What's interesting is not just whether there's anyone...


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
jument
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.
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