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Latest Planetary systems Stories

Focused Alien Hunt Coming Up Empty Thus Far
2012-06-04 03:15:31

A technique that allows radio astronomers to combine observations made simultaneously by multiple arrays has yet to detect any signs of extraterrestrial broadcast signals, Australian researchers have confirmed. In a study posted online May 29 and scheduled for publication in the Astronomical Journal, experts at the Curtin University International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research used very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) to examine Gliese 581, a star which is orbited by planets...

2012-05-16 10:20:46

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Observations from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have led to the best assessment yet of our solar system's population of potentially hazardous asteroids. The results reveal new information about their total numbers, origins and the possible dangers they may pose. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Potentially hazardous asteroids, or PHAs, are a subset of the larger group of near-Earth...

Rogue Planets Sometimes Captured By Stars
2012-04-18 03:28:47

New research suggests that billions of stars in our galaxy have captured rogue planets that once roamed interstellar space. The nomad worlds, which were kicked out of the star systems in which they formed, occasionally find a new home with a different sun. This finding could explain the existence of some planets that orbit surprisingly far from their stars, and even the existence of a double-planet system. "Stars trade planets just like baseball teams trade players," said Hagai Perets of...

NASA's Kepler Mission Extended Through 2016
2012-04-05 07:07:53

Funding for NASA's planet-seeking Kepler Mission, which was scheduled to expire in November, has been renewed for four more years, the US space agency announced on Wednesday. According to Space.com Senior Writer Mike Wall, the Kepler space observatory, which has uncovered evidence of well over 2,000 potential new alien planets since it was launched in March 2009, will continue operations through at least the 2016 fiscal year. The additional funding was recommended by a NASA review...

2012-04-02 09:52:10

Complex organic compounds, including many important to life on Earth, were readily produced under conditions that likely prevailed in the primordial solar system. Scientists at the University of Chicago and NASA Ames Research Center came to this conclusion after linking computer simulations to laboratory experiments. Fred Ciesla, assistant professor in geophysical sciences at UChicago, simulated the dynamics of the solar nebula, the cloud of gas and dust from which the sun and the planets...

Super-Earth Transfer Of Life Unlikely
2012-03-22 04:04:10

While scientists believe conditions suitable for life might exist on the so-called "super-Earth" in the Gliese 581 system, it's unlikely to be transferred to other planets within that solar system. "One of the big scientific questions is how did life get started and how did it spread through the universe," said Jay Melosh, distinguished professor of earth and atmospheric sciences. "That question used to be limited to just the Earth, but we now know in our solar system there is a lot of...

Study Sheds Light On Planetary Orbital Pile-Ups
2012-03-20 08:32:57

Researchers said they have found why some orbits seen in young solar systems seem to be more popular than others. Astronomers have been puzzled as to why giant gas planets like Jupiter and Saturn appear to occupy certain regions in mature solar systems while staying clear of others. Ilaria Pascucci, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, said the final distribution of planets does not vary smoothly with distance from the star, but has clear...

A New Take On Planetary Accretion
2012-02-29 09:39:21

The prevailing model for planetary accretion, also called fractal assembly, and dating back as far as the 18th century, assumes that the Solar System´s planets grew as small grains colliding chaotically, coalescing into bigger ones, colliding yet more until they formed planetesimals. The planetesimals then collided until they formed planets as varied as the Earth and Jupiter. The model assumes that this occurred in an extremely hot (as high as 1,600 degrees Celsius) environment for...

Earth Siblings Can Be Different
2012-02-24 04:34:11

Chemical clues on the formation of planetary systems The study of the photospheric stellar abundances of the planet-host stars is the key to understanding how protoplanets form, as well as which protoplanetary clouds evolve planets and which do not. These studies, which have important implications for models of giant planet formation and evolution, also help us to investigate the internal and atmospheric structure and composition of extrasolar planets.. Theoretical studies suggest that...

2012-02-02 14:04:22

An international team of scientists led by Carnegie's Guillem Anglada-Escudé and Paul Butler has discovered a potentially habitable super-Earth orbiting a nearby star. The star is a member of a triple star system and has a different makeup than our Sun, being relatively lacking in metallic elements. This discovery demonstrates that habitable planets could form in a greater variety of environments than previously believed. Their work will be published by the Astrophysical Journal...


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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