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Astronomers Image Birth of a Planetary Nebula in Sharp Detail

Posted June 11th, 2015 at 1:52 pm (UTC+0)
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For the first time ever, a team of astronomers have captured stunning pictures of one of the universe’s most impressive sights: the birth of a bipolar ‘planetary nebula.’ The scientists gathered the images of nebula surrounding L2 Puppis using the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope or VLT, in the Atacama Desert of northern […]

Pluto Moons Dance in Chaotic Orbit

Posted June 5th, 2015 at 3:50 pm (UTC+0)
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Pluto and its moons seem to be engaged in a kind of chaotic dance routine with each other. After a thorough analysis of data gathered by the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA scientists found that Nix and Hydra – two of Pluto’s five known moons – are wobbling and behaving erratically as they orbit the distant […]

Ground-Based Telescope Observes Exoplanet Transiting Bright Star

Posted December 1st, 2014 at 9:51 pm (UTC+0)
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For the first time, an international team of astronomers has used a ground-based telescope to detect and observe the transit of a planet in front of a Sun-like star outside of our own solar system. Until now, only space-based telescopes were capable of detecting the transits of exoplanets as they passed by bright stars. Distortions […]

Giant Jovian Moon Might Have an Ocean and Ice ‘Club Sandwich’

Posted May 2nd, 2014 at 8:36 pm (UTC+0)
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Ganymede is Jupiter’s largest moon; in fact it’s the solar system’s biggest moon.  Now members of the Icy Worlds team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) think that the giant moon, which is even larger than the planet Mercury, may have several layers of ice and liquid oceans piled atop each other, much like a […]

Glitch Jeopardizes Planet Hunter’s Mission

Posted May 17th, 2013 at 7:14 pm (UTC+0)
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A malfunction could force an abrupt end to the Kepler Space Telescope’s planet-hunting mission. NASA received the unwelcome news last Sunday after discovering Kepler had malfunctioned and is currently operating in a self-protective “safe-mode” as it also did earlier this month. The US space agency made the news public this past Wednesday. It appears at […]

New Imager Finds Distant Planets Unlike Others in Known Universe

Posted March 12th, 2013 at 7:22 pm (UTC+0)
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Thanks to new technology, astronomers are conducting the first remote reconnaissance of a distant solar system, allowing them to collect the first chemical fingerprints of four exoplanets orbiting a star some 128 light years from Earth. Astronomers involved with Project 1640, a high-contrast imaging program at the Palomar Observatory in California, say the four exoplanets […]

Astronomers Identify Orphan Exoplanet Close to Our Solar System

Posted November 14th, 2012 at 6:32 pm (UTC+0)
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An international team of astronomers using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope has identified what they’re calling the most exciting free-floating, or rogue planet ever found. Writing in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the scientists say this rogue planet, located relatively close to our own Solar System – about […]

Advanced Telescope Optics Spot Faraway Planets

Posted July 11th, 2012 at 6:47 pm (UTC+0)
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Astronomers have a powerful new tool to help them in their search for  planets outside of our solar system. Project 1640 is a first-of-its-kind, high-contrast imaging program which combines high-tech instrumentation and software, giving scientists the ability to spot planets orbiting distant suns in star systems outside of our solar system. Ever since the search […]