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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 …

Giant Planet Formation Revealed in New Observations
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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 …

Close Star Could Have up to Five Planets
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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. …

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 …

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 …

New “Super-Jupiter” Directly Imaged by Astronomers
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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, …

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

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 …

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

Jupiter’s Atmosphere is Seeing Big Changes
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The results of a paper on Jupiter’s atmosphere were released by NASA today, and it appears that big changes are happening for the solar system’s biggest planet. Among the roiling clouds covering Jupiter, belts of the atmosphere are changing color, …

Four-Star Planet Discovered by Planet Hunter Volunteers

Volunteers for the Planet Hunter project have discovered a planet that is part of a four-star system. The planet, named PH1, orbits a pair of stars that is itself orbited by a more distant pair of stars. The Planet Hunter …

Planet With Two Suns Is Part Of A Newly Discovered Type Of Solar System
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A new planet has been discovered by a team of amateur astronomers from the Planet Hunters project. It’s called PH1, but may remind some Star Wars fans of Tatooine thanks to the two suns it orbits. On top of that, …

Billions Of Inhabitable Planets Found In Milky Way Billions Of Inhabitable Planets Found In Milky Way

People have wondered aloud for decades that if our planet one day became uninhabitable, would we be able to find a new home? Well until recently scientists had hypothesized that there were at most a couple thousand inhabitable planets in …