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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 14:04 EDT
Exoplanets Soon To Gleam In The Eye Of NESSI

Exoplanets Soon To Gleam In The Eye Of NESSI

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...

Latest Super-Earth Stories

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...

Super Earths May Be More Like Our Planet Than Previously Theorized
2014-01-09 06:55:52

[ Watch the Video: More Like Earth? Exoplanet Scientists Weight In ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online It seems like the discovery of Earth-like planets is always announced with one caveat – the planet discovered probably isn’t much like Earth. Many of these are "super-Earths," several times larger than our own planet and thought to be completely covered in water. However, a new study to be published in an upcoming edition of the Astrophysical Journal, has...

New Technique Measuring Exoplanet Mass
2013-12-19 15:52:43

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new technique developed by a team at MIT could help scientists determine the mass of exoplanets, using just their transmission spectra. Scientists have discovered more than 900 exoplanets outside our solar system so far, and more are being found every week. Hunting for exoplanets takes a combination of patience, the right equipment and technique. Space telescopes help keep watch for dimming starlight, indicating that an exoplanet...

In The Hunt For Habitable Planets, A New Model May Be Key
2013-11-14 13:54:41

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers using new theoretical models have created a new method to simplify the search for Earth-like planets. The new models help rule out the possibility of Earth-like conditions on certain planets outside of our solar system. Yann Alibert, of the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) at the University of Bern, and colleagues based the study on the mass and radius of a planet, helping to determine criteria that exclude the...

2013-11-04 16:20:35

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scientists from around the world are gathered this week at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., for the second Kepler Science Conference, where they will discuss the latest findings resulting from the analysis of Kepler Space Telescope data. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Included in these findings is the discovery of 833 new candidate planets, which will be announced today by the...

Exoplanets With Too Much Carbon Are Most Likely Waterless
2013-10-26 04:14:31

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Diamond planets and other worlds that are rich in carbon might be waterless, NASA researchers explained earlier this month at the 45th meeting of the American Astronomical Society Division of Planetary Sciences in Denver. Torrence Johnson, a Senior Research Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, and his colleagues explain that since our sun is a carbon-poor star, the Earth is a planet that is...

Astronomers Discover Seventh Planet Orbiting Nearby Star System
2013-10-25 15:26:17

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers have discovered a seventh planet orbiting a dwarf star, known as KIC 11442793, making it the first Kepler planetary system with this many alien worlds. The star is about 2,500 light years from Earth and its planetary system could be a record holder. All seven planets in the system orbit much closer to their host star, meaning the system is very crowded when compared to even our own Solar System. Scientists say that the...

More Than 1,000 Exoplanets Have Been Discovered Since 1992
2013-10-25 14:17:10

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The search for extra-terrestrial planets has been ongoing for at least the past 21 years. Since the early days of exoplanet hunting, the number of such planets identified by scientists has pushed beyond a thousand, thanks largely to the advent of high-tech space observatories, such as the Kepler Space Telescope. Exoplanets, or alien planets, are those planets that exist outside of our Solar System. So far, scientists have discovered...