Showing Archived Posts

Astronomers Observe Exoplanet Temperatures Swinging Wildly

Posted May 4th, 2015 at 11:06 pm (UTC+0)
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For the first time ever, scientists in the United Kingdom detected temperature fluctuations on a super-Earth exoplanet – 55 Cancri e, the so-called “diamond planet.” Using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope to study the rocky exoplanet’s thermal radiation over a two-year period, researchers led by the University of Cambridge found that the temperature on the side […]

Calling ET: NASA Expands Search for Alien Life

Posted April 27th, 2015 at 10:48 pm (UTC+0)
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The search for life beyond our own solar system has taken a major step forward with a new interdisciplinary research coalition devoted to the search for life in the cosmos. Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) will be made up of research teams from several NASA facilities, 10 U.S. universities and two research institutions, according […]

Astronomers May Have Spotted A Moon Orbiting an Extrasolar Planet

Posted April 11th, 2014 at 7:32 pm (UTC+0)
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According to NASA, more than 1,000 extrasolar planets have been confirmed in recent years. There are also thousands more potential planets beyond our solar system that are waiting to be discovered. Now, an international group of astronomers think they may have found the first exomoon, or moon circling an exoplanet, some 1,800 light years away […]

NASA, ESA Ramp Up Planet-hunting Missions

Posted February 28th, 2014 at 8:33 pm (UTC+0)
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NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler mission stirred up excitement this week when mission officials announced they’d hit the proverbial jackpot – discovering and confirming a record 715 new planets orbiting 305 stars. Nearly 95 percent of these newly found planets are smaller than Neptune, but four are about 2.5 times bigger than Earth and are located within […]

New-found Planet Defies Scientific Theory

Posted December 6th, 2013 at 8:14 pm (UTC+0)
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A newly-discovered  planet outside of our solar system has scientists rethinking how planets form. The international research team said the new exoplanet, with the registration number HD 106906b,  is not only huge, weighing 11 times Jupiter’s mass, but also orbits its sun from a distance of 650 au’s – astronomical units or 97,238,615,955 km.  In […]

Far-away Planet Found to be Same Color as Earth

Posted July 12th, 2013 at 7:16 pm (UTC+0)
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The Hubble Space Telescope has helped scientists determine the color of a planet outside of our Solar System for the first time. Located about 63 light years from Earth, the planet known as HD 189733b would be a deep cobalt blue if viewed at close range, similar to Earth’s color as seen from space. Despite […]

60 Billion Earth-like Planets Could Exist in Milky Way Galaxy

Posted July 2nd, 2013 at 7:21 pm (UTC+0)
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A new study finds there could be about 60 billion Earth-sized habitable planets orbiting red dwarfs – the most common stars in our universe – in the Milky Way galaxy. That’s more than twice as many potentially habitable planets than was previously thought. The new report from two Chicago area universities finds that clouds surrounding […]

Ultra-Light Planet Found Outside Solar System

Posted June 4th, 2013 at 6:28 pm (UTC+0)
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The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has discovered what appears to be the lightest planet ever to be directly observed outside of our Solar System. Astronomers made the discovery using the Very Large Telescope (VLT), located in Chile, which captured the faint object moving near a bright star about 300 light years from Earth. The possible […]

Milky Way Contains Billions of Earth-sized Planets, Studies Find

Posted January 9th, 2013 at 6:29 pm (UTC+0)
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There are at least 17 billion Earth-sized worlds in our Milky Way galaxy, according to two new studies. Both groups of scientists used data from NASA’s Kepler mission to reach their conclusions, which were presented to the American Astronomical Society in Long Beach, California. The scientists found that the closer the planets are to their […]