News tagged with extrasolar planets

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Nearing one thousand exoplanets

A quiet milestone in modern astronomy may soon come to pass. As of today, The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia lists a current tally of 998 extrasolar planets across 759 planetary systems. And although various ...

Oct 21, 2013
4.6 / 5 (9) 3

Goldilocks moons

The search for extraterrestrial life outside our Solar System is currently focused on extrasolar planets within the ‘habitable zones’ of exoplanetary systems around stars similar to the Sun. Finding ...

Jan 16, 2012
4 / 5 (10) 1

What are hot Jupiters?

When astronomers first discovered other planets, they were completely unlike anything we've ever found in the Solar System. These first planets were known as "hot Jupiters", because they're giant planets ...

Feb 13, 2014
4.8 / 5 (8) 0

Transit Search Finds Super-Neptune

(PhysOrg.com) -- Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have discovered a planet somewhat larger and more massive than Neptune orbiting a star 120 light-years from Earth. While Neptune ...

Jan 20, 2009
4.1 / 5 (9) 8

Forget exomoons. Let’s talk exorings

In an article earlier this month, I discussed the potential for discovering moons orbiting extrasolar planets. I’d used an image of an exoplant system with rings, prompting one reader to ask if those wou ...

Nov 25, 2011
5 / 5 (7) 0

Astronomers spot second smallest exoplanet

(PhysOrg.com) -- Astronomers from the California Institute of Technology and other institutions, using the highly sensitive 10-meter Keck I telescope atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea, have detected an extrasolar planet ...

Jan 13, 2010
4.9 / 5 (7) 1 | with audio podcast

Sulfurous signs of life

Any sulfurous molecules that astronomers spot on alien worlds might be a way to reveal whether or not those distant planets host life, researchers suggest.

Jun 30, 2011
3.7 / 5 (9) 17 | with audio podcast