News tagged with gas giants

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What is a terrestrial planet?

In studying our solar system over the course of many centuries, astronomers learned a great deal about the types of planets that exist in our universe. This knowledge has since expanded thanks to the discovery ...

dateJul 02, 2015 in Space Exploration
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Jupiter's movements made way for Earth

There's something about our solar system that appears to be unusual. For some reason, most of our bigger planets are far away from our host star, while closer in are smaller, rocky worlds, including Earth ...

dateJun 23, 2015 in Astronomy
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The moons of Jupiter

Jupiter was appropriately named by the Romans, who chose to name it after the king of the gods. In addition to being the largest planet in our Solar System – with two and a half times the mass of all the ...

dateJun 10, 2015 in Space Exploration
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An improved model for star formation

Star formation, once thought to consist essentially of just the simple coalescence of material by gravity, actually occurs in a complex series of stages. As the gas and dust in giant molecular clouds come ...

dateMay 08, 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 ...

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, ...

dateMar 30, 2015 in Astronomy
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How are planets formed?

How did the Solar System's planets come to be? The leading theory is something known as the "protoplanet hypothesis", which essentially says that very small objects stuck to each other and grew bigger and ...

dateJan 30, 2015 in Space Exploration
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Swarm of microprobes to head for Jupiter

A swarm of tiny probes each with a different sensor could be fired into the clouds of Jupiter and grab data as they fall before burning up in the gas giant planet's atmosphere. The probes would last an estimated ...

dateJan 26, 2015 in Astronomy
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