Nearing one thousand exoplanets

A quiet milestone in modern astronomy may soon come to pass. As of today, The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia lists a current tally of 998 extrasolar planets across 759 planetary systems. And although various tabulations ...

Astronomers discover a rare stellar disk of quartz dust

A research team of Japanese astronomers led by Dr. Hideaki Fujiwara (Subaru Telescope) has discovered a main-sequence star that is surrounded by a rare disk of quartz dust. Collisions of planetesimals, building blocks for ...

How common are earth-moon planetary systems?

Sebastian Elser, Prof. Ben Moore and Dr. Joachim Stadel of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, in cooperation with Ryuji Morishima of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, tried to estimate how common Earth-Moon planetary ...

Flipping hot Jupiters: Why some planets orbit the wrong way

(PhysOrg.com) -- In the last few years astronomers have observed that in some extrasolar systems the star is spinning one way and the planet, a "hot Jupiter," is orbiting the star in the opposite direction. A Northwestern ...

Transiting super-Earth detected around naked eye star

One of the first known stars to host an extrasolar planet, was that of 55 Cancri. The first planet in this system was reported in 1997 and today the system is known to host at least five planets, the inner most of which, ...

Building a new planet

(PhysOrg.com) -- Astronomers over the past decade have made remarkable progress in the study of extrasolar planets; over 500 distant worlds are now confirmed. Meanwhile, as this active research community continues to discover ...

A New Way to Find Earths

Astronomers have used a completely new technique to find an exotic extrasolar planet. The same approach might even be sensitive enough to find planets as small as the Earth in orbit around distant stars.

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