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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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Half of all exoplanet host stars are binaries

( —Imagine living on an exoplanet with two suns. One, you orbit and the other is a very bright, nearby neighbor looming large in your sky. With this "second sun" in the sky, nightfall might be a rare event, perhaps ...

dateSep 04, 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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