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Finding new worlds with a play of light and shadow

Astronomers have used many different methods to discover planets beyond the solar system, but the most successful by far is transit photometry, which measures changes in a star's brightness caused by a mini-eclipse. When ...

dateOct 31, 2015 in Astronomy
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Mysterious star stirs controversy

Mysterious light on a distant star could be a sign of alien civilisation, some astronomers have claimed, stirring controversy among their peers. Not so fast, said NASA.

dateOct 20, 2015 in Astronomy
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Astronomers discover a tenth transiting "Tatooine"

Astronomers at the 29th International Astronomical Union General Assembly will announce on August 14 the discovery of a new transiting "circumbinary" planet, bringing the number of such known planets into double digits. A ...

dateAug 07, 2015 in Astronomy
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Exoplanets 20/20: Looking back to the future

Geoff Marcy remembers the hair standing up on the back of his neck. Paul Butler remembers being dead tired. The two men had just made history: the first confirmation of a planet orbiting another star.

dateJul 31, 2015 in Astronomy
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