Latest Terrestrial planet Stories
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.
Gas-giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn form soon after their stars do, according to new research.
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 expected to greatly enlarge the number of known exoplanets during its two-year mission and provide the first detection of rocky planets, perhaps just a few times the mass of the Earth.
The COROT space telescope is proceeding smoothly towards its launch in December 2006. Once in orbit, COROT will become the first spacecraft devoted to the search for rocky planets, similar to our own Earth.
More than a decade after the first planets beyond our solar system were found, astronomers have discovered about 200 of these "extrasolar planets," as they're called.
The 200 known planets that orbit other stars exhibit incredible variety. Among them are a handful of worlds that weigh between 5 and 15 times Earth. Astronomers believe these "super-Earths" are rocky iceballs rather than gas giants like Jupiter.
Where are the other Earths? Answering that question is just the first step in NASA's long-range quest to look for life around stars beyond our solar system, according to Dr. Wesley Traub. And to answer it, he says, we have to go into space.
More than one-third of the giant planet systems recently detected outside our solar system may harbor Earth-like planets covered in deep global oceans that offer abundant potential for life, according to a new study by scientists associated with NASA's Astrobiology Institute.
The steady discovery of giant planets orbiting stars other than our sun has heightened speculation that there could be Earth-type worlds in nearby planetary systems capable of sustaining life.
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...
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...
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 -- 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...
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...
- A trick or prank.