Latest Planetary systems Stories
The European Space Agency's Herschel space observatory has snapped images of a dust belt orbiting a subgiant star that hosts a planetary system.
An international team of astronomers has made the most detailed examination to date of the atmosphere around a Jupiter-like exoplanet using the Keck Observatory, one of the two largest optical telescopes in the world.
New research from Carnegie Institution for Science looks at how gas giants similar to Jupiter and Saturn formed and evolved. Using theoretical modeling, lead researcher Alan Boss provides clues that gas giants may form in the presence of gas disks that surround stars in their infancy.
Another new planetary system has been discovered by Kepler scientists, and this one happens to be home to the smallest planet ever discovered, circling around a star that is strikingly similar to our Sun.
The Subaru Telescope has helped astronomers capture the first vivid infrared image of a distant planet forming from a young star.
The enthusiasm behind the discovery of "Earth-like" planets has been on the rise, but a new study suggests we may want to tone down our excitement a bit.
Astronomers recently reported that they have determined the mass of the planetary nursery surrounding the star TW Hydrae with unprecedented accuracy.
A team of U.S. astronomers has discovered what looks to be a large asteroid belt orbiting around Vega, the second-brightest star in the northern sky, NASA officials announced on Tuesday.
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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