Latest Terrestrial planet Stories
Using an armada of telescopes, an international team of astronomers has found the smallest planet ever detected around a normal star outside our solar system. The extrasolar planet is five times as massive as Earth and orbits a red dwarf.
Astronomers have found a debris disk around a sun-like star that may be forming or has formed its terrestrial planets. The disk - a probable analog to our asteroid belt - may have begun a solar-system-scale demolition derby, where the rocky remains of failed planets collide chaotically.
Astronomers have spotted a swirling debris cloud around a sun-like star where terrestrial planets similar to Earth may be forming in a process that could shed light on the birth of the solar system.
A team of French and Swiss astronomers working at the La Silla observatory in Chile discovered a planet about the size of Neptune located some 20.5 light years from our solar system, the European Southern Observatory said on Wednesday.
More than half the stars in our galaxy are small, dim M dwarfs. Until recently, scientists believed these stars put out too little light to support life on any planets that orbited them. Now, that opinion has changed.
Astronomers looking for earth-like planets in other solar systems â€” exoplanets â€” now have a new field guide thanks to earth and planetary scientists at Washington University in St. Louis.
Observations of 1 Ceres, the largest known asteroid, have revealed that the object may be a "mini planet," and may contain large amounts of pure water ice beneath its surface.
Most extrasolar planets discovered so far are "hot Jupiters," gas giants orbiting close to their parent stars. But according to current theory, such planets should form much farther from their stars, where temperatures are cold enough for water and other volatiles to freeze. How will scientists find the answer this mystery?
Last August, two groups of scientists announced the discovery of the smallest extrasolar planets found to date. But just what are these Neptune-size worlds? Are they gas giants, ice giants, or oversized Earths? Astronomer Alan Boss examines the possibilities.
In this interview with Astrobiology Magazine, Professor of Astronomy Geoff Marcy, one of the world's leading planet-hunters, reflects on recent other-worldly discoveries and speculates on what surprises may lay in store.
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...
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