News tagged with rocky planets

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Cosmic 'Death Star' is destroying a planet

The Death Star of the movie Star Wars may be fictional, but planetary destruction is real. Astronomers announced today that they have spotted a large, rocky object disintegrating in its death spiral around a distant white ...

dateOct 21, 2015 in Astronomy
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Greenhouse effect could extend habitable zone

The distant region beyond Saturn is too cold for liquid water, a necessity for life as we know it. But new research indicates that rocky planets far from their parent star could generate enough heat to keep water flowing ...

dateAug 26, 2011 in Astronomy
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How old are the first planets?

To build a planet you need lots of rubble and that means lots of heavy elements – stuff more massive than atoms of hydrogen and helium. The elemental composition of the collapsing nebula that gave birth to the Sun and the ...

dateAug 31, 2012 in Astronomy
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Spitzer telescope witnesses asteroid smashup

( —NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted an eruption of dust around a young star, possibly the result of a smashup between large asteroids. This type of collision can eventually lead to the formation of planets.

dateAug 28, 2014 in Astronomy
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Even brown dwarfs may grow rocky planets

(—Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array have for the first time found that the outer region of a dusty disc encircling a brown dwarf contains millimetre-sized solid grains like those ...

dateNov 30, 2012 in Astronomy
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