Latest Planetary systems Stories
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.
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.
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.
Astronomers using the U.S.
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.
There might be one hundred billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy, US scientists announced at a recent press conference.
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
Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have discovered a planet somewhat larger and more massive than Neptune orbiting a star 120 light-years from Earth.
Astronomers have turned to an unexpected place to study the evolution of planets -- dead stars.
Some stars have it tough when it comes to raising planets. A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows one unlucky lot of stars, born into a dangerous neighborhood.
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...
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