Related topics: stars · planets

Know thy star, know thy planet

When it comes to exoplanets, astronomers have realized that they only know the properties of the planets they discover as well as they know the properties of the stars being orbited. For a planet's size, precisely characterizing ...

Newborn giant planet grazes its star

For the past 20 years, exoplanets known as 'hot Jupiters' have puzzled astronomers. These giant planets orbit 100 times closer to their host stars than Jupiter does to the Sun, which increases their surface temperatures. ...

Stars with planets on strange orbits: what's going on?

All the planets in our solar system orbit close to the sun's equatorial plane. Of the eight confirmed planets, the Earth's orbit is the most tilted, but even that tilt is still small, at just seven degrees.

Hubble observes calcium-rich supernovae

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope offers a multitude of spectacular images of celestial objects and a huge amount of scientific data helpful for astronomers. A team of scientists from UK and Sweden has recently made use ...

Largest rocky world found

We thought we understood how big rocky planets can get. But most of our understanding of planetary formation and solar system development has come from direct observation of our own solar system. We simply couldn't see any ...

Reflections on the habitability of Earth

We know the Earth is habitable because—well, here we are. But would it look like a good candidate for life from hundreds of light-years away?

A hot Jupiter around a sun-like star

There are almost 1800 confirmed exoplanets known today, and over 4000 exoplanet candidates. Astronomers have obtained estimates for the masses and radii (and hence the average densities) of over four hundred of these confirmed ...

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