Large, distant comets more common than previously thought

Comets that take more than 200 years to make one revolution around the sun are notoriously difficult to study. Because they spend most of their time far from our area of the solar system, many "long-period comets" will never ...

Hidden stars may make planets appear smaller

In the search for planets similar to our own, an important point of comparison is the planet's density. A low density tells scientists a planet is more likely to be gaseous like Jupiter, and a high density is associated with ...

Bizarro comet challenging researchers

Scientists pursue research through observation, experimentation and modeling. They strive for all of these pieces to fit together, but sometimes finding the unexpected is even more exciting.

Unseen 'planetary mass object' signalled by warped Kuiper Belt

An unknown, unseen "planetary mass object" may lurk in the outer reaches of our solar system, according to new research on the orbits of minor planets to be published in the Astronomical Journal. This object would be different ...

New branch in family tree of exoplanets discovered

Since the mid-1990s, when the first planet around another sun-like star was discovered, astronomers have been amassing what is now a large collection of exoplanets—nearly 3,500 have been confirmed so far. In a new Caltech-led ...

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