All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘planets’

Pink Dwarf Planet “Biden” Found Beyond Pluto, Hints At More Planets

Scientists discovered a pink dwarf planet at the edge of the solar system, long thought to be a celestial no-man’s land. The object, officially called 2012 VP-113, is nicknamed “Biden” in jest after incumbent US Vice President Joe Biden. The dwarf planet was found by Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science and Chad Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory …

Read More

No “Planet X” Found in WISE Data

For decades before Pluto, Eris, and other distant objects in our solar system were discovered, astronomers had posited that there must be another planet beyond Neptune that would make observed orbital calculations for Neptune and Uranus add up. This planet was dubbed “Planet X” and was searched for extensively during the late 19th century. The search was largely abandoned when …

Read More

715 New Planets Discovered By NASA

It’s always exciting when a new planet is discovered, but how about 715 new planets? NASA recently announced that they have discovered 715 new planets with the Kepler space telescope. This is the largest batch of planets ever discovered at one time. Before their discovery, only about 1,000 other new planets were known. NASA says that they used a new …

Read More

715 New Exoplanets Discovered by NASA’s Kepler

The last decade has seen a huge increase in the number of known exoplanets (those outside of our own solar system). NASA’s Kepler mission has been responsible for a great deal of these planet discoveries in the last few years and today NASA revealed yet another wave of new planets discovered by the Kepler space observatory. According to a paper …

Read More

“Wobbly” Planet Spotted in Binary Star System

NASA this week revealed that the Kepler Space Telescope has spotted a planet with a very erratic orbit. The planet, named Kepler-413b, orbits around a pair of stars and performs what astronomers are describing as a wobble as its spins. The planet’s binary system is located 2,300 light-years from our system and contains two dwarf stars, one orange and one …

Read More

New Planets Found Among Star Cluster

Astronomers this week have announced the discovery of three planets found within the Messier 67 star cluster. The finding is significant because planets have rarely found orbiting stars that are part of star clusters. The new research shows that planets may actually be just as common within star clusters as they are throughout the rest of the galaxy. “These new …

Read More

Massive Planet-Like Object Baffles Astronomers

Astronomers this week announced the discovery of an odd object orbiting a star located around 440 light years from our solar system. The object’s size and position is now giving scientists trouble in determining what exactly it is. The object, dubbed ROXs 42Bb, is around nine times the mass of Jupiter, just shy of the mark where astronomers would classify …

Read More

Hubble Spots Cloudy Atmospheres on Two Nearby Exoplanets

On the eve of a new year, astronomers have just revealed that two nearby exoplanets are covered in an atmosphere thick with clouds. Two new papers, both to be published in the journal Nature, examine the planets GJ 436b and GJ 1214b. GJ 436b is located just 36 light-years from our solar system and is thought to be a “warm …

Read More

Comet ISON Moving Closer to Sun for Thanksgiving

Many are preparing to draw closer together on Thanksgiving, and that includes space interaction as well. Comet ISON, which has more popularly been referred to as the “comet of the century” is currently continuing on the pathway to approach the sun’s vicinity. The closest encounter will be on November 28th, which just happens to also be Thanksgiving. The comet is …

Read More

Hot, Earth-Sized Exoplanet Found by Astronomers

Astronomers this week revealed that the mass of exoplanet Kepler 78b has been determined. The planet, located 400 light-year away in orbit around the star Kepler 78, has a mass of around 1.7 times that of Earth. The planet also has a radius just 1.2 times that of Earth and its density is also similar to Earth’s. The new research …

Read More

Clouds Mapped on Jupiter-Like Exoplanet

Though much of the agency is preparing to shut down, NASA this week announced that astronomers have mapped the clouds of a planet outside our own solar system. Using the Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes, astronomers have created a cloud map of Kepler-7b, a Jupiter-like planet that orbits around the star Kepler-7. Though Kepler-7b has less than half the mass …

Read More

Smallest Planet Yet Spotted Around Sun-Like Star

Astronomers this week announced they have directly imaged the smallest planet yet found around a sun-like star. The planet, GJ 504b, is about four times the mass of Jupiter. It orbits its star at around 43 times the distance from Earth to the sun and has a dark pink color. The star GJ 504 is a main sequence (G0 stellar …

Read More

New Neptune Moon Found by Hubble Space Telescope

NASA this week revealed that a new moon has been spotted orbiting the furthest planet from the sun, Neptune. The moon, the 14th known to be orbiting Neptune, has been labeled S/2004 N 1. The small rock is the smallest of Neptune’s known moons at approximately 12 miles across. It is located around 65,400 miles from Neptune, between the orbits …

Read More

Hubble Telescope Spots a Blue Planet

Astronomers have been finding and cataloging exoplanets for years now, but NASA this week announced that the Hubble Space Telescope has helped determined the color of a planet orbiting a star 63 light-years from our solar system. The planet, HD 189733b, has been found to be blue in color. Astronomers determined this using Hubble’s imaging spectrograph, which was able to …

Read More

Three Planets Found in the Habitable Zone of Nearby Star

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) this week announced it has found six planets in the Gliese 667C system, and that three of those planets are located within the system’s habitable zone. The habitable zone of a system is the area around a star where liquid water can exist. With the presence of water also comes the possibility for life as …

Read More

Giant Planet Formation May Have Been Spotted

Astronomers have found what could be the first-ever sighting of a planet forming while still in the midst of a dust cloud surrounding a star. The object, which orbits the star HD 100546, is only 335 light-years from Earth and appears to be a gas giant. If the findings, published this week in Astrophysical Journal Letters, are confirmed, they could …

Read More

NASA’s Kepler Finds Extra-Solar Planets Smaller Than Earth

Over the past year, NASA’s Kepler mission has found hundreds of possible planets outside of our solar system, and even a few candidates for Earth-like planets. This week, astronomers revealed that a new system has been found that contains planets smaller than Earth. The new data has been presented in a paper published recently in the journal Nature. The planets …

Read More

Earth-Sized Planets May be Close by, Shows Study

Astronomers this week published a new study that estimates six percent of red dwarf stars may have Earth-sized planets orbiting within their “habitable zone” – the area around a star in which liquid water can exist on the surface of an orbiting body. Since many stars close to our solar system are red dwarfs, astronomers say an Earth-like planet could …

Read More

Comet-Like Ionosphere Seen on Venus

New observations of Venus have shown that the planet’s ionosphere on its night side resembles a comet’s tail. The observations were made by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Venus Express satellite. The ionosphere is the region of electrically charged gas high in a planet’s atmosphere. The shape and density of an ionosphere are determined, in part, by the internal magnetic …

Read More

Rogue Planet Orbit Spotted by NASA’s Hubble

New images of the Fomalhaut star system could show evidence of a “titanic planetary disruption.” Astronomers have found that the debris belt in the system is wider than was thought, and that a “rogue” planet has a precarious orbit that takes it straight through the dust ring. The debris belt spans a huge section of space from 14 to around …

Read More

461 New Planet Candidates Discovered by NASA’s Kepler, Including Four Earth-Like Ones

Astronomers last week announced that they estimate there to be 100 billion planets throughout the Milky Way Galaxy. This week, Astronomers announced 461 new candidates for extra-solar planets have been discovered. NASA‘s Kepler mission has been discovering exoplanets for years now, and the number of confirmed exoplanets is currently 105. As astronomers dig more deeply into Kepler data, smaller planet …

Read More

100 Billion Planets Populate the Milky Way Galaxy, Say Astronomers

For years now, NASA‘s Kepler mission has been confirming the existence of planets outside our solar system. Now, a new review of Kepler data suggests that there are billions upon billions of planets just in the Milky Way galaxy. “There are at least 100 billion planets in the galaxy, just our galaxy,” said John Johnson, assistant professor of planetary astronomy …

Read More

Giant Planet Formation Revealed in New Observations

Astronomers have spotted a system that could reveal a key stage in the formation of giant planets. For the first time, images of vast gas streams flowing across a gap in the accretion disc of a young star have been seen. The new research, published today in the journal Nature, shows that the gas streams found around a star named …

Read More

Close Star Could Have up to Five Planets

A new study by an international team of scientists has discovered that the star Tau Ceti may have five planets orbiting it. Tau Ceti is the 20th closest star to the sun, and the nearest star to have sun-like properties. The star has the same spectral classification as the sun, with a mass 78% that of the sun’s. It lies …

Read More

Volcanoes on Venus Could Be Changing the Planet’s Atmosphere

Observations by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Venus Express show that changes in Venus’ atmosphere could be the result of volcanic eruptions. A paper on the new findings has been published in the journal Nature Geoscience. According to the atmosphere of Venus contains over one million times as much sulphur dioxide as Earth’s. The gas is hidden below the thick …

Read More

Water Ice on Mercury Confirmed by NASA’s MESSENGER

The hypothesis that Mercury has abundant water ice and other frozen volatile materials in its shadowed polar craters appears to have been confirmed. NASA announced today that new measurements from its Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft provide “compelling support” for the water ice theory. The space craft measured the excess hydrogen at Mercury’s north pole, the …

Read More

New “Super-Jupiter” Directly Imaged by Astronomers

Astronomers have directly imaged a “super-Jupiter” planet orbiting around the star Kappa Andromedae. According to NASA, Kappa Andromedae now holds the record for the most massive star to host a directly imaged planet or lightweight brown dwarf companion. The planet, designated Kappa Andromedae b (Kappa And b), has a mass 12.8 times greater than Jupiter’s, making it almost a low-mass …

Read More

NASA’s Kepler Telescope Ends Its Prime Mission, Begins Another

NASA this week marked the end of the Kepler Space Telescope’s prime mission, which began in March 2009. Like other NASA equipment, the telescope is now beginning another, extended mission NASA says could last as long as four years. Kepler’s prime mission was to determine what fraction of stars might have Earth-like planets in their orbit. So far, the telescope …

Read More

Close Rogue Planet Identified by ESO Astronomers

Astronomers have identified what is “very probably” a relatively close-by planet hurtling through space – not orbiting a star. The European Southern Observatory used its Very Large Telescope and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope to study the object, which it calls the “most exciting free-floating planet candidate so far.” The ESO stated that at only 100 light-years away, the planet is the …

Read More

New “Super Earth” Planet Discovered in Six-Planet System

U.K. and German Astronomers announced this week that they have discovered a new “super Earth” planet that could, conceivably, have an Earth-like climate. The planet exists in the habitable zone of a nearby star called HD 40307 and is part of a six-planet system. The system was previously believed to have only three planets, each too close to the star …

Read More

Page 1 of 212»