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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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Jupiter twin discovered around solar twin

Astronomers have used the ESO 3.6-metre telescope to identify a planet just like Jupiter orbiting at the same distance from a Sun-like star, HIP 11915. According to current theories, the formation of Jupiter-mass planets ...

dateJul 15, 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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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, and many researchers ...

dateMar 30, 2015 in Astronomy
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Wandering Jupiter accounts for our unusual solar system

Long before Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars formed, it seems that the inner solar system may have harbored a number of super-Earths—planets larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. If so, those planets are long gone—broken ...

dateMar 23, 2015 in Astronomy
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