Latest Planetary systems Stories

2013-08-15 09:47:23

NASA will host a news teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 15, to discuss the status of the agency's Kepler Space Telescope. Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone, the region around a star in which the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water. Launched in 2009, Kepler has discovered planets and planet candidates with a wide range of sizes and orbital distances and helped scientists...

NASA Attempts 'Hail Mary' To Recover Kepler Space Telescope
2013-07-19 14:23:40

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA is launching a last-ditch "Hail Mary" attempt to try and bring its Kepler mission back to life. The US space agency said that over the next week, the Kepler team will attempt tests to explore recovery of the spacecraft's reaction wheels, which failed back in May. Kepler needs its reaction wheels to help stabilize it as it searches for exoplanets around distant stars. The team will be continuing its efforts to conduct tests on...

Disk Patterns Not Always Formed In Presence Of Planets
2013-07-13 07:16:03

[WATCH VIDEO: It Doesn't Take A Planet To Make A Ring] April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Young stars known to host planets generally also have disks containing dust and icy grains, particles produced by collisions among asteroids and comets also orbiting the star. Often, these debris disks have sharply-defined rings or spiral patterns, which could signal the presence of orbiting planets. As a way to better understand the physical properties of known planets and...

Gas Giant Exoplanets Close To Parent Stars
2013-06-28 09:34:28

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Results from the Gemini Observatory's recently completed Planet-Finding Campaign, the most extensive direct imaging survey to date, reveal the outlying orbital space around many types of stars is largely devoid of gas-giant planets, which appear to remain close to their parent stars. The findings could have a significant impact on theories of planetary formation. "It seems that gas-giant exoplanets are like clinging offspring,"...

Two New Planets In Hostile Star Cluster
2013-06-26 13:00:56

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers have discovered two planets smaller than Neptune in the midst of a hostile star cluster environment. Stars kick off their lives in clusters where they fight for room along with thousands of neighbors in an environment surrounded by strong radiation and harsh stellar winds. Astronomers say they found two planets packed into the harsh environment of the star cluster NGC 6811. “Old clusters represent a stellar environment...

Stars And Planets Larger Than Thought Kepler
2013-06-04 13:36:00

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers writing in the Astrophysical Journal say they have found that many of the stars and planets discovered are larger than previously thought. The astronomers used the NOAO Kitt Peak National Observatory Mayall 4-meter telescope to observe candidate planets identified by the NASA Kepler Mission and found that most of the stars observed are larger than originally thought, and a quarter of them were 35 percent bigger....

Insights Into Unusual Dwarf Star Provided By Kepler
2013-06-04 08:36:46

University of Delaware Astronomer John Gizis of the University of Delaware, working with data obtained by the Kepler mission, is studying a highly unusual dwarf star and its powerful flares that may hold clues to the likelihood of life on other planets as well as to the behavior of our Sun. Known as an L dwarf, this coolest type of star is about 53 light-years from Earth. Gizis, who discovered it two years ago using a ground-based  telescope, has now conducted additional research...

Kepler Goes Into Thruster-Controlled Safe Mode
2013-05-15 18:53:56

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online NASA announced on Wednesday that its Kepler spacecraft was sitting in safe mode once again, possibly putting an end to its high-accuracy observations. Kepler went into a Thruster-Controlled Safe Mode earlier in May, and NASA said its spacecraft is sitting in the same position again. The space agency said the root cause of Kepler putting itself into safe mode is unknown, but the possible cause "appears to be an altitude error."...

einstein planet
2013-05-14 05:41:28

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online The field of exoplanet research — the study of planets outside of our solar system — has exploded in the last decade as new instruments have come online that have dramatically increased our ability to find new worlds. Perhaps the most important player in the game is the Kepler mission. It primarily works by analyzing stars in our galaxy and looking for tiny changes in a star´s brightness. As a planet...

New Method More Accurately Measures Far-Off Worlds
2013-04-26 05:17:39

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online One commonly used method in astronomy is to study spectra and light curves from stars and compare the data to known values, allowing researchers to derive information such as chemical composition, size, and surface temperature. The trouble with this method is it only works on stars that are bright enough or close enough to study in detail. Unfortunately, this precludes nearly three-quarters of the stellar population,...

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
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'