New Planets

  • Off-Center Optimism for a Planet
    A dust ring around the bright star Fomalhaut is off-center, suggesting a planet may be orbiting the star. Visible images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope show details of this dust ring staring back at us from space.
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  • Elusive Earths
    What have scientists learned in a decade of searching for extrasolar planets? Are there other solar systems just like our own waiting to be discovered, or are our Sun and its contingent of planets in some way unique?
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  • Just How Earth-Like is the Newest Planet?
    In the land rush known as extrasolar planet hunting, the most prized real estate is advertised as "Earth-like." On Monday, June 13, scientists raced to plant their flag on a burning hunk of rock orbiting a red star.
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  • Super-Earth Sought and Found
    Taking a major step forward in the search for Earth-like planets beyond our own solar system, a team of astronomers has announced the discovery of the smallest extrasolar planet yet detected.
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  • Backyard Astronomers Discover Planet
    An international collaboration featuring Ohio State University astronomers has detected a planet in a solar system that, at roughly 15,000 light years from Earth, is one of the most distant ever discovered.
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  • Clues to Molding Planets
    The detailed measurements of dusty disks around young stars confirm a new theory that the region where rocky planets such as Earth form is much farther away from the star than originally thought. These definitive measurements of planet-forming zones offer important clues to initial conditions
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  • First Light from Faraway Planet
    An international team of astronomers reports today confirmation of the discovery of a giant planet, approximately five times the mass of Jupiter, that is gravitationally bound to a young brown dwarf. This topic has spawned a year long discussion on the nature of this object.
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  • Questioning Terrestrial Planets
    Looking for biosignatures that would be characteristic of intelligent life is not always about extrapolating the most intelligent things a species might be doing. For instance, would one look for pollutants in the atmosphere?
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  • Crunching the Numbers
    Maggie Turnbull, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution, has spent many years thinking about what kind of stars could harbor Earth-like planets. Her database of potentially habitable star systems could be used as a target list for NASA's forthcoming Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission.
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  • Explaining Eccentricities
    When astronomers discovered that the planets around Upsilon Andromedae had very strange orbits, they weren't sure what could have caused it. Researchers from Berkeley and Northwestern have developed a simulation that shows how an additional planet could have given the other planets the orbital kick.
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  • The Wolf: New Planet or Brown Dwarf Star?
    Located in the Lupus I (the Wolf) cloud, a region of star formation about 400 or 500 light-years away, a young T-Tauri star may be either a new planet or a failed star. Although the borderline between the two is still a matter of debate,
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  • Surfing the Wavelengths
    Maggie Turnbull, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution, has spent many years thinking about what kind of stars could harbor Earth-like planets. Her database of potentially habitable star systems could be used as a target list for NASA's upcoming Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission.
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  • Dying Stars, Melting Planets
    Dying stars may warm previously frozen worlds around them to the point where liquid water temperature exists long enough for life to form, according to a new analysis of the evolution of habitable zones around stars by an international team of astronomers.
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  • First Light from Extrasolar Planets
    Most of the 150 known extrasolar planets are discovered and studied through techniques such as finding the telltale wobble of a star tugged by an orbiting planet, or the blink of a star as a planet passes in front of it. Now for the first
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  • Twinkle, Twinkle…Large Planet
    An international team of astronomers has accurately determined the radius and mass of the smallest core-burning star known until now. It is the first time that direct observations demonstrate that stars less massive than 1/10th of the solar mass are of nearly the same size
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