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Methane, water enshroud nearby Jupiter-like exoplanet

The Gemini Planet Imager has discovered and photographed its first planet, a methane-enshrouded gas giant much like Jupiter that may hold the key to understanding how large planets form in the swirling accretion disks around ...

dateAug 13, 2015 in Astronomy
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Ancient star raises prospects of intelligent life

Can life survive for billions of years longer than the expected timeline on Earth? As scientists discover older and older solar systems, it's likely that before long we'll find an ancient planet in a habitable zone. Knowing ...

dateMay 07, 2015 in Astronomy
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Rocky planets may orbit many double stars

Luke Skywalker's home in "Star Wars" is the desert planet Tatooine, with twin sunsets because it orbits two stars. So far, only uninhabitable gas-giant planets have been identified circling such binary stars, and many researchers ...

dateMar 30, 2015 in Astronomy
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Clues revealed about hidden interior of Uranus

( —Long believed to be one of the blandest regions of any of the giant gas planets, the southern hemisphere of Uranus indicates a flurry of previously unknown atmospheric phenomena, hinting at an unusual feature ...

dateNov 14, 2014 in Astronomy
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Transiting exoplanet with longest known year

Astronomers have discovered a transiting exoplanet with the longest known year. Kepler-421b circles its star once every 704 days. In comparison, Mars orbits our Sun once every 780 days. Most of the 1,800-plus exoplanets discovered ...

dateJul 21, 2014 in Astronomy
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