Latest Planetary systems Stories

2008-04-10 09:35:00

An international team led by French and Canadian astronomers has just discovered the coldest brown dwarf ever observed. Their results will soon be published in Astronomy & Astrophysics. This new finding was made possible by the performance of telescopes worldwide*: Canada France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) and Gemini North Telescope, both located in Hawaii, and the ESO/NTT located in Chile.The brown dwarf is named CFBDS J005910.83-011401.3 (it will be called CFBDS0059 in the following). Its...

2008-04-06 13:00:00

British astronomers have discovered a solar system similar to ours, with two planets that closely match Saturn and Jupiter orbiting a star about half the size of the Sun. The finding suggests that systems like ours could be more common that previously thought, according to Martin Dominik of St Andrews University, who added that astronomers were on the brink of discovering many more such systems.  Dr Dominik presented his work at the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy...

2008-04-01 14:25:00

An international team of astronomers has found 10 new "extra solar" planets, planets that orbit stars other than our sun. The team used a system of robotic cameras that yield a great deal of information about these other worlds, some of which are quite exotic. The system is expected to revolutionize scientific understanding of how planets form.Two participating astronomers from the U.S. are Rachel Street and Tim Lister. Street is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa...

2008-03-26 07:01:18

MIT scientists are designing a satellite-based observatory that they say could for the first time provide a sensitive survey of the entire sky to search for planets outside the solar system that appear to cross in front of bright stars. The system could rapidly discover hundreds of planets similar to the Earth. Google, the Internet search powerhouse that in recent years has expanded to include mapping of the stars as well as the surfaces of the moon and Mars and which has an ongoing...

2008-03-13 15:35:00

Researchers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered large amounts of simple organic gases and water vapor in a possible planet-forming region around an infant star, along with evidence that these molecules were created there. They've also found water in the same zone around two other young stars. By pushing the telescope's capabilities to a new level, astronomers now have a better view of the earliest stages of planetary formation, which may help shed light on the origins of our...

2008-03-12 16:10:00

Study provides clues about the formation of Earth-like planetsIn a find that sheds light on how Earth-like planets may form, astronomers this week reported finding the first evidence of small, sandy particles orbiting a newborn solar system at about the same distance as the Earth orbits the sun. The report will be published online this week by the journal Nature."Precisely how and when planets form is an open question," said study co-author Christopher Johns-Krull, assistant professor of...

2008-03-07 12:20:00

The campaign to broadcast the first ever advert into space is launched today (Friday March 7) with University of Leicester space scientists playing a key part in the process.The British public is being asked to shoot a 30-second ad about what they perceive life on earth to be as part of Doritos "ËœYou Make It, We Play It' user-generated-content campaign. The winning advert in the competition will be beamed past the earth's atmosphere, beyond our solar system and into the Universe,...

2008-02-14 16:05:00

Astronomers have discovered that rocky, terrestrial planets might orbit many, if not most, of the nearby sun-like stars in the disk of our galaxy. These new results suggest that worlds with potential for life are more common that we thought. This release is being issued jointly with the University of Arizona (UA). UA astronomer Michael Meyer (currently on sabbatical at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to determine whether planetary...

2008-02-14 13:35:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An international team of astronomers has discovered two planets that resemble smaller versions of Jupiter and Saturn in a solar system nearly 5,000 light years away. The find suggests that our galaxy hosts many planetary systems like our own, said Scott Gaudi, assistant professor of astronomy at Ohio State University. He and his colleagues reported their results in the February 15 issue of the journal Science. The two planets were revealed when the star they orbit crossed in...

2008-01-30 13:10:00

The planet Mercury's magnetic field appears to be strong enough to fend off the harsh solar wind from most of its surface, according to data gathered in part by a University of Michigan instrument onboard NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft.U-M's Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS) on Jan. 14 took the first direct measurements of Mercury's magnetosphere to determine how the planet interacts with the space environment and the Sun.The solar wind, a stream of charged particles, fills the entire...

Latest Planetary systems Reference Libraries

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...

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...

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...

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...

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
  • The unit of magnetic flux density in the International System of Units, equal to the magnitude of the magnetic field vector necessary to produce a force of one newton on a charge of one coulomb moving perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field vector with a velocity of one meter per second. It is equivalent to one weber per square meter.
This word is named for Nikola Tesla, the inventor, engineer, and futurist.