Latest Super-Earth Stories

super earth Kepler-93b
2014-07-24 03:00:38

Whitney Clavin, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Thanks to NASA's Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes, scientists have made the most precise measurement ever of the radius of a planet outside our solar system. The size of the exoplanet, dubbed Kepler-93b, is now known to an uncertainty of just 74 miles (119 kilometers) on either side of the planetary body. [ Watch: ScienceCasts: Sizing Up An Exoplanet ] The findings confirm Kepler-93b as a "super-Earth" that is about one-and-a-half times...

Potentially Habitable Exoplanet With Earth-Like Temperatures Found
2014-06-27 08:24:53

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Astronomers have discovered a new, potentially habitable Super-Earth believed to possess temperatures comparable to those found here, but with much larger seasonal shifts, provided the atmosphere is similar to our planet's own. Dr. Robert A. Wittenmyer, a researcher at UNSW Australia specializing in the detection and characterization of extrasolar planets, and his colleagues located the new Super-Earth in orbit around the nearby...

Two Ancient Worlds Discovered In Neighboring Galactic Cluster
2014-06-04 07:02:00

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using new data from the HARPS spectrometer at the ESO’s La Silla observatory in Chile, an international team of scientists have discovered two exoplanets orbiting a nearby ancient star. Kapteyn’s star, named after Jacobus Kapteyn, who discovered the star in the 19th century, is a red dwarf and one of the two planets in its grasp sits at the right spot where life could form. Led by Queen Mary University of London, the...

Exoplanets Come In Three "Neapolitan" Flavors
2014-06-02 03:09:48

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics The planets of our solar system come in two basic flavors, like vanilla and chocolate ice cream. We have small, rocky terrestrials like Earth and Mars, and large gas giants like Neptune and Jupiter. We're missing the astronomical equivalent of strawberry ice cream - planets between about one and four times the size of Earth. NASA's Kepler mission has discovered that these types of planets are very common around other stars. New research...

Astronomers Discover The "Mega-Earth"
2014-06-02 03:30:17

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomers announced on Monday that they have discovered a new type of planet - a rocky world weighing 17 times as much as Earth. Theorists believed such a world couldn't form because anything so hefty would grab hydrogen gas as it grew and become a Jupiter-like gas giant. This planet, though, is all solids and much bigger than previously discovered "super-Earths," making it a "mega-Earth." "We were very surprised when we realized what we had...

Mysteries Of Nearby Planetary System's Dynamics Are Now Solved
2014-04-22 12:33:58

Penn State Mysteries of one of the most fascinating nearby planetary systems now have been solved, report authors of a scientific paper to be published by the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in its early online edition on 22 April 2014. The study, which presents the first viable model for the planetary system orbiting one the first stars discovered to have planets -- the star named 55 Cancri -- was led by Penn State University graduate student Benjamin Nelson in...

Magdalena Ridge Observatory
2014-04-18 07:28:01

Whitney Clavin, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory The New Mexico Exoplanet Spectroscopic Survey Instrument (NESSI) will soon get its first "taste" of exoplanets, helping astronomers decipher their chemical composition. Exoplanets are planets that orbit stars beyond our sun. NESSI got its first peek at the sky on April 3, 2014. It looked at Pollux, a star in the Gemini constellation, and Arcturus, in the Boötes constellation, confirming that all modes of the instrument are working....

2014 Carl Sagan Fellows
2014-04-03 03:00:40

NASA/JPL NASA has selected seven scientists as recipients of the 2014 Carl Sagan Exoplanet Postdoctoral Fellowships. The fellowship, named for the late astronomer, was created to inspire the next generation of explorers seeking to learn more about planets, and possibly life, around other stars. The primary goal of the fellowship program is to support outstanding recent postdoctoral scientists in conducting independent research related to the science goals of NASA's Exoplanet Exploration...

hypothetical planet with two moons orbiting in the habitable zone of a red dwarf star
2014-03-04 12:04:51

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A team of astronomers from the UK and Chile have discovered three new planets classified as Super Earths. The planets are part of a group of eight new planets discovered orbiting nearby red dwarf stars. This study shows that virtually all red dwarfs have planets orbiting around them. Astronomers used the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) and Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) telescopes for the...

New Austrian Study Suggests Super-Earths Are Unfit For Life
2014-02-27 12:56:13

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The last two decades have brought unprecedented understanding of worlds outside of our solar system. The launch of the Kepler space telescope and other instruments have allowed astronomers to find and characterize hundreds of new planets, with thousands more candidates waiting to be confirmed. As our technology continues to improve, we will be able to isolate smaller and smaller planets, eventually identifying Earth-sized...

Word of the Day
  • A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.
This word is a diminutive of the Latin 'luna,' moon.