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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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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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Measuring the mass of a Mars-size exoplanet

Determining the size of an Earth-size exoplanet by the amount of starlight it blocks hundreds of light-years away once was the realm of science fiction. Measuring the mass of such a small planet based on its gravity was ...

dateJun 18, 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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Earth and Mars could share a life history

While life is everywhere on Earth, there is much debate about how it began. Some believe it originated naturally from the chemistry found on our planet as it evolved. Others hypothesize that life—or at least the building ...

dateJul 07, 2015 in Space Exploration
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