How will clouds obscure the view of exoplanet surfaces?

In 2021, NASA's next-generation observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), will take to space. Once operational, this flagship mission will pick up where other space telescopes—like Hubble, Kepler and Spitzer—left ...

The ongoing search for habitable exoplanets

A balmy Florida evening, and my family and I stood on Cocoa Beach, looking northward toward the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. We were part of a seaside crowd gathered to witness the launch of NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. ...

The low density of some exoplanets is confirmed

The Kepler mission and its extension, called K2, discovered thousands of exoplanets. It detected them using the transit technique, measuring the dip in light intensity whenever an orbiting planet moved across the face of ...

Starshade would take formation flying to extremes

Anyone who's ever seen aircraft engaged in formation flying can appreciate the feat of staying highly synchronized while airborne. In work sponsored by NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP), engineers at the Jet Propulsion ...

Eighteen Earth-sized exoplanets discovered

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), the Georg August University of Göttingen, and the Sonneberg Observatory have discovered 18 Earth-sized planets beyond the solar system. The worlds are ...

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