Inventing tools for detecting life elsewhere

Recently, astronomers announced the discovery that a star called TRAPPIST-1 is orbited by seven Earth-size planets. Three of the planets reside in the "habitable zone," the region around a star where liquid water is most likely ...

Small, Ground-Based Telescope Images Three Exoplanets

(PhysOrg.com) -- Astronomers have snapped a picture of three planets orbiting a star beyond our own using a modest-sized telescope on the ground. The surprising feat was accomplished by a team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory ...

ESA's Tigers on prowl for solar corona's secrets

(PhysOrg.com) -- Bring together a small group of highly motivated researchers, grant them full access to laboratory and production facilities, remove all administrative distractions, and let them work intensively for four ...

Coronagraph

A coronagraph is a telescopic attachment designed to block out the direct light from a star so that nearby objects – which otherwise would be hidden in the star's bright glare – can be resolved. Most coronagraphs are intended to view the corona of the Sun, but a new class of conceptually similar instruments (called stellar coronagraphs to distinguish them from solar coronagraphs) are being used to find extrasolar planets around nearby stars.

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