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.

Observatories combine to crack open the Crab Nebula

Astronomers have produced a highly detailed image of the Crab Nebula, by combining data from telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves seen by the Karl G. Jansky Very ...

'Iceball' planet discovered through microlensing

Scientists have discovered a new planet with the mass of Earth, orbiting its star at the same distance that we orbit our sun. The planet is likely far too cold to be habitable for life as we know it, however, because its ...

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