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Latest Terrestrial planet Stories

1a53f18a2b386efa161a9b0af9e5d58a1
2007-11-29 17:50:00

Ben Oppenheimer calls starlight "the bane of planet hunting." Although more than 250 planets are known to orbit other stars, so far no one has been able to get a good look at any of them. That's largely because a star's glare is millions of times brighter than a planet, so trying to see a planet next to a star is akin to trying to spot a firefly next to a spotlight, from thousands of miles away. But it's a problem Oppenheimer and his colleagues at the American Museum of Natural History in...

5154afffc0aaa8188414542920ba129d1
2007-10-04 09:35:00

An Earth-like planet is likely forming 424 light-years away in a star system called HD 113766, say astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Scientists have discovered a huge belt of warm dust - enough to build a Mars-size planet or larger - swirling around a distant star that is just slightly more massive than our sun. The dust belt, which they suspect is clumping together into planets, is located in the middle of the system's terrestrial habitable zone. This is the region around a...

12ba965ddc2c3ce74b78766726aa32a11
2007-07-19 11:21:43

"I just do it for the pictures," laughs Dr. David Imel as he points to the myriad posters of stars and galaxies hanging from the walls in his office at Caltech. But the picture Imel wants to see most doesn't exist yet "“ a pale blue dot orbiting a distant star. Another Earth. As the manager of the Michelson Science Center at Caltech, Imel coordinates a team of scientists and engineers whose goal is to find the elusive Earthlike planet. He and his team schedule and organize telescope...

75127f9dfe5e5af5f748f603f3ccb22f
2007-07-05 16:25:00

LOS ANGELES -- NASA this weekend is set to launch a spacecraft that will journey to the asteroid belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter, a mission that involves a rendezvous with two of the solar system's largest asteroids. Seeking clues about the birth of the solar system, the Dawn spacecraft will first encounter Vesta, the smaller of the two bodies, four years from now. In 2015, it will meet up with Ceres, which carries the status of both asteroid and, like Pluto, dwarf planet. "We're...

979b151643cfd9cf4749cbe9fde78f7a1
2007-05-10 10:15:00

Science fiction may soon become science fact. Astronomers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have recently concluded that the upcoming planet-finding mission, SIM PlanetQuest, would be able to detect an Earth-like planet around the star 40 Eridani, a planet familiar to "Star Trek" fans as "Vulcan." 40 Eridani, a triple-star system 16 light-years from Earth, includes a red-orange K dwarf star slightly smaller and cooler than our sun. Vulcan is thought to orbit that dwarf star, called 40...

50273b3577ca128208365975ad40e2bc1
2007-04-11 16:23:03

For the first time ever, NASA researchers have successfully demonstrated in the laboratory that a space telescope rigged with special masks and mirrors could snap a photo of an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star. This accomplishment marks a dramatic step forward for missions like the proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder, designed to hunt for an Earth twin that might harbor life. Trying to image an exoplanet - a planet orbiting a star other than the sun - is a daunting task, because its...

dea4309a9a3712c58038d2343f8bb2701
2007-04-11 10:15:00

NASA scientists believe they have found a way to predict the color of plants on planets in other solar systems. Green, yellow or even red-dominant plants may live on extra-solar planets, according to scientists whose two scientific papers appear in the March issue of the journal, Astrobiology. The scientists studied light absorbed and reflected by organisms on Earth, and determined that if astronomers were to look at the light given off by planets circling distant stars, they might predict...

e014282df8ed692c99036f846c8077f41
2007-02-10 10:25:00

Beth A. Biller is part of an international team of astronomers trying to tease out images of planets around young stars by removing the distortions caused by Earth's atmosphere. Working in collaboration with scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, she is also helping to validate key technologies for Terrestrial Planet Finder, a future mission designed to observe and characterize habitable planets around nearby stars. Extrasolar planets are extremely faint targets to begin with, and...

53cbb42d513502f87e8a8399da3ad7ac1
2007-01-08 16:55:00

Gas-giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn form soon after their stars do, according to new research. Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show that gas giants either form within the first 10 million years of a sun-like star's life, or not at all. The study offers new evidence that gas-giant planets must form early in a star's history. The lifespan of sun-like stars is about 10 billion years. Ilaria Pascucci of the University of Arizona Steward Observatory in Tucson led a team of...

204d2306e81418c9cb0a3785b8be1c8c1
2006-12-27 14:20:00

Launched today from Kazakhstan, the unique astronomy mission COROT is on its way. Its twin goals are to detect exoplanets orbiting around other stars and to probe the mysteries of stellar interiors as never before. COROT is a French national space agency (CNES)-led mission to which ESA and European partners are adding a particularly strong international flavour. COROT was launched by a Soyuz-Fregat from Baikonur in Kazakhstan at 15:23 CET. Status reports on the mission are available from...


Latest Terrestrial planet Reference Libraries

Planetary and Space Science
2012-05-28 10:21:45

Planetary and Space Science is a peer-reviewed scientific journal established in 1959 and published by Elsevier 15 times per year. As of May 2012, the editor-in-chief is Rita Schulz (The Netherlands). The journal publishes original research articles and short communications. The main focus is on solar system processes which encompass multiple areas of the natural sciences. Research that involves planetary and space sciences involves many disciplines. Celestial mechanics is part of these...

7_a23a0395183f2368aec4b62e1b9470672
2004-10-19 04:45:43

Terrestrial Planet Finder -- The Terrestrial Planet Finder is a proposed NASA telescope system capable of detecting extrasolar terrestrial planets. In May 2002, NASA chose two TPF mission architecture concepts for further study and technology development. Each would use a different means to achieve the same goal - to block the light from a parent star in order to see its much smaller, dimmer planets. That technology challenge has been likened to finding a firefly near the beam of...

6_07e7808819d3a0e0b1e9459490122f2b2
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Planet -- A planet is a body of considerable mass that orbits a star and that doesn't produce energy through nuclear fusion. Until recently, only nine were known (all of them in our own Solar system). As of the end of 2002 over 100 are known, with all of the new discoveries being extrasolar planets. Astronomers often call asteroids minor planets, and call the larger planetary bodies (those which are commonly called planets) major planets. Planets within the solar system can be...

Gas Giant
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Gas Giant -- A gas giant is a generic astronomical term invented by the science fiction writer James Blish to describe any large planet that is not composed mostly of rock or other solid matter. Gas giants may still have a solid core - in fact, it is expected that such a core is probably required for a gas giant to form - but the majority of its mass is in the form of gas (or gas compressed into a liquid state). Unlike rocky planets, gas giants do not have a well-defined surface. There...

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...

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Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'