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 scientific quest to explain Kepler's most enigmatic find

Some 1,500 light years from Earth, a mystery of stellar proportions is playing out. A singular star out there captured scientists' and the public's imagination in September 2015 with its strangely fluctuating brightness. ...

NASA's Webb Telescope to witness galactic infancy

Scientists will use NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to study sections of the sky previously observed by NASA's Great Observatories, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope, to understand the ...

Searching for distant worlds with a flying telescope

Researchers from the University of Bern, using an observatory on board a jumbo jet, have observed how the extrasolar Planet GJ 1214b is passing in front of its star, causing a kind of mini-eclipse. The first measurements ...

Scientists improve brown dwarf weather forecasts

Dim objects called brown dwarfs, less massive than the sun but more massive than Jupiter, have powerful winds and clouds–specifically, hot patchy clouds made of iron droplets and silicate dust. Scientists recently realized ...

Large asteroid to safely pass earth on September 1

Asteroid Florence, a large near-Earth asteroid, will pass safely by Earth on Sept. 1, 2017, at a distance of about 4.4 million miles, (7.0 million kilometers, or about 18 Earth-Moon distances). Florence is among the largest ...

TRAPPIST-1 is older than our solar system

If we want to know more about whether life could survive on a planet outside our solar system, it's important to know the age of its star. Young stars have frequent releases of high-energy radiation called flares that can ...

Y-type stars

Brown dwarf stars are failed stars. Their masses are so small, less than about eighty Jupiter-masses, that they lack the ability to heat up their interiors to the roughly ten million kelvin temperatures required for normal ...

The art of exoplanets

The moon hanging in the night sky sent Robert Hurt's mind into deep space—to a region some 40 light years away, in fact, where seven Earth-sized planets crowded close to a dim, red sun.

Primitive atmosphere discovered around 'Warm Neptune'

A pioneering new study uncovering the 'primitive atmosphere' surrounding a distant world could provide a pivotal breakthrough in the search to how planets form and develop in far-flung galaxies.

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