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Latest Planetary systems Stories

44b4b7af5ab545177922fd4677ade57a1
2009-08-12 14:15:00

This composite image, combining data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope shows the molecular cloud Cepheus B, located in our Galaxy about 2,400 light years from the Earth. A molecular cloud is a region containing cool interstellar gas and dust left over from the formation of the galaxy and mostly contains molecular hydrogen. The Spitzer data, in red, green and blue shows the molecular cloud (in the bottom part of the image) plus young stars in and around Cepheus...

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2009-07-01 08:04:49

Two University of Hawai'i at Mānoa astronomers have found a binary star-disk system in which each star is surrounded by the kind of dust disk that is frequently the precursor of a planetary system. Doctoral student Rita Mann and Dr. Jonathan Williams used the Submillimeter Array on Mauna Kea, Hawaii to make the observations. A binary star system consists of two stars bound together by gravity that orbit a common center of gravity. Most stars form as binaries, and if...

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2009-06-01 11:25:00

Astronomers have discovered a distant "sun" residing in the constellation Aquila, in what they are calling the smallest known star to host a planet, BBC News reported. Scientists used astrometry "” a method based on measuring small changes in a star's position "” to discover the Jupiter-like exoplanet orbiting the star VB 10. Experts say that VB 10 is one-twelfth the mass of the Sun, yet the star is more massive than its planet and has about the same girth. The upcoming edition...

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2009-05-13 13:30:00

Scientists have long wondered how tiny silicate crystals, which need sizzling high temperatures to form, have found their way into frozen comets, born in the deep freeze of the solar system's outer edges. The crystals would have begun as non-crystallized silicate particles, part of the mix of gas and dust from which the solar system developed. A team of astronomers believes they have found a new explanation for both where and how these crystals may have been created, by using NASA's Spitzer...

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2009-05-08 08:35:00

A new way of reading light will sharpen the view of planets around other stars Thanks to the ability of astronomers to detect the presence of extrasolar planets orbiting distant stars, scientists today are able to examine hundreds of solar systems. Now researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. have created an "astro-comb" to help astronomers detect lighter planets, more like Earth, around distant stars. The Harvard group will present their findings at...

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2009-04-21 10:08:41

A team of astronomers from University College London (UCL), including undergraduate students, have discovered that an exotic world passes directly in front of the Sun-like star it orbits, revealing for the first time that it is about the same size as Jupiter. And rather than traveling to one of the major observatories in Hawaii or Chile, the students made the discovery with a telescope at UCL's University of London Observatory (ULO) in the capital's northern suburb of Mill Hill. The work was...

2009-04-20 13:34:32

Astronomers using the U.S. space agency's Spitzer Space Telescope say they have discovered at least one in 100 white dwarf stars has orbiting asteroids. The international team of astronomers say their finding suggests the orbiting asteroids and rocky planets once hosted solar systems similar to our own. White dwarf stars are the compact, hot remnants of stars such as the sun. The new observations suggest such Earth-sized stars are often polluted by a gradual rain of closely orbiting dust that...

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2009-04-20 09:08:16

Astronomers have announced plans to build an ultra-stable, high-precision spectrograph for the Science and Technology Facilities Council's 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope (WHT - part of the Isaac Newton Group or ING on La Palma) in an effort to discover habitable Earth-like planets around other stars. Dr Ian Skillen of the ING will present the new High Accuracy Radial-velocity Planet Search "“ New Earths Facility (HARPS-NEF) spectrograph in a poster on Monday 20th April at the European...

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2009-02-15 11:55:00

There might be one hundred billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy, US scientists announced at a recent press conference. Dr Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution of Science stated that maybe a few of these could have simple life forms living on them. Boss announced this at the yearly meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago. Thus far, telescopes have found 300 planets outside our solar system. However, only a few would be able to support life. The...

2009-02-06 11:25:00

South Korean researchers say they've discovered a planetary system that has two suns. Lee Jae-woo and Kim Seung-ri of the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute and Kim Chun-hwui of Chungbuk National University said the planetary system, which they've named HW Vir has had the two suns since its birth, unlike other planetary systems in which a second sun was drawn by gravitational attraction, South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported Friday. The report, published in the Astronomical...


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
cenobite
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.
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