NASA telescope studies quirky comet 45P

When comet 45P zipped past Earth early in 2017, researchers observing from NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility, or IRTF, in Hawai'i gave the long-time trekker a thorough astronomical checkup. The results help fill in crucial ...

Lava or not, exoplanet 55 Cancri e likely to have atmosphere

Twice as big as Earth, the super-Earth 55 Cancri e was thought to have lava flows on its surface. The planet is so close to its star, the same side of the planet always faces the star, such that the planet has permanent day ...

Astronomers discover sunscreen snow falling on hot exoplanet

Astronomers at Penn State have used the Hubble Space Telescope to find a blistering-hot giant planet outside our solar system where the atmosphere "snows" titanium oxide. These Hubble observations are the first detections ...

Giant exoplanet hunters: Look for debris disks

There's no map showing all the billions of exoplanets hiding in our galaxy—they're so distant and faint compared to their stars, it's hard to find them. Now, astronomers hunting for new worlds have established a possible ...

The super-Earth that came home for dinner

It might be lingering bashfully on the icy outer edges of our solar system, hiding in the dark, but subtly pulling strings behind the scenes: stretching out the orbits of distant bodies, perhaps even tilting the entire solar ...

Astronomers measure new distances to nearby stars

Astronomers from the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO), in collaboration with others from the REsearch Consortium On Nearby Stars (RECONS), have determined new distances to a group of faint young stars located within 25 parsecs ...

Astronomers resolve mystery of white dwarf's mass

New observations of the white dwarf/red dwarf binary star 40 Eridani BC by astronomers at the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO) have revealed new, definitive values for the orbital period and masses of the components of this ...

House-sized near Earth objects rarer than we thought

In 2013 a small meteoroid, the size of a house, hurtled through Earth's atmosphere and exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. The explosion shattered windows, and more than a thousand people were treated for injuries ...

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