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Currently Browsing: Results for Tag "exoplanets"

MIT researchers publish a legend for alien hunting

MIT researchers publish a legend for alien hunting If alien life is nearby and intelligent, finding it likely won’t be a problem for long.But what if the only life within a reasonable distance is non-intelligent, or early in its cultural development?

Kepler team announces largest-ever collection of 1,284 verified new exoplanets

Kepler team announces largest-ever collection of 1,284 verified new exoplanets What’s more, Kepler reports nine confirmed exoplanets of Earth-like size in their star’s Goldilocks zone.At the core of Kepler’s ability to say it has found planets lie its methods of prediction and verification.

Flat science budgets could kill the Arecibo Observatory, the world’s largest telescope

The Arecibo Observatory has been the world’s largest single-aperture telescope for more than 50 years.Unfortunately, federal funding has generally failed to keep up with the ways that funding could be distributed.

Earth’s poles may once have been far from the ‘ends’ of the Earth

Earth’s poles may once have been far from the ‘ends’ of the Earth After all, the most famous poles by far are the North and the South poles of the Earth, which are oriented at opposite ends of a slightly elongated sphere.These locations are by far the most noticeable things about the planetary poles — but it’s not what defines them.

NASA celebrates the Fourth of July with the arrival of its next-gen Jupiter probe

NASA celebrates the Fourth of July with the arrival of its next-gen Jupiter probe Thus was born the name for NASA’s Jupiter-exploring space probe, which just reached the gas giant this Fourth of July.The main goal of Juno is to better understand the evolution of Jupiter, and to use that to better understand the evolution of the solar system.

Astronomers discover the first water clouds outside our solar system

Astronomers discover the first water clouds outside our solar system This week, a team of astronomers led out of UC Santa Cruz released a report on the brown dwarf WISE0855, by far the dimmest object ever imaged in its spectral range.Their results confirm a preexisting assumption that brown dwarfs ought to be capable of supporting enough water to create phenomena like water clouds, and greatly invigorate the search for life on these cold, extremely common worlds.

First direct images of a gas giant exoplanet in a triple-star system

First direct images of a gas giant exoplanet in a triple-star system Three hundred and forty light years from Earth, in the constellation Centaurus, there burns a highly unlikely triple star system called HD 131399.It consists of a big, bright star — star A — and a binary pair of stars, B+C.

NASA’s Kepler finds 104 new confirmed exoplanets

NASA’s Kepler finds 104 new confirmed exoplanets But NASA’s Kepler exoplanet hunting satellite began suffering mechanical failures in 2012, right around the end of its original 3.In 2013, NASA began preparation for Kepler’s “K2” mission to extend its planet spotting, though in a more limited capacity.

NASA’s TESS mission on track to start hunting exoplanets in 2017

NASA’s TESS mission on track to start hunting exoplanets in 2017 Ever since it debuted in 2009, NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has redefined our understanding of other star systems.Now TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is ticking along on schedule to launch in 2017.

20 rocky, temperate, Earth-like exoplanets marked for further study

20 rocky, temperate, Earth-like exoplanets marked for further study “This is the complete catalog of all of the Kepler discoveries that are in the habitable zone of their host stars,” said Kane, lead author.” The boundaries of the habitable zone are critical to this entire project, but the boundaries differ between stars.

The ‘alien megastructure’ star continues to defy explanation

The ‘alien megastructure’ star continues to defy explanation The star KIC 8462852 sits 1,480 light years away in the constellation Cygnus.It wasn’t a planet, and some speculated that what we were seeing was evidence of a massive alien megastructure.

Astronomers discover Earth-like exoplanet in the nearest star system

Astronomers discover Earth-like exoplanet in the nearest star system The newly discovered exoplanet is at least somewhat Earth-like, and more importantly, it orbits the star closest to our own, known as Proxima Centauri.2 light years away, which is really in our own astronomical backyard.

Despite early reports, SETI doesn’t think we’ve just found alien life

Despite early reports, SETI doesn’t think we’ve just found alien life “Not a Drill: SETI Is Investigating a Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space,” said the Observer, while New Scientist thrilled that a “Mysterious SETI signal sends alien-hunting telescopes scrambling.” There’s just one problem: even SETI doesn’t actually think this is anything, saying that it isn’t “terribly promising” from their perspective.

Gaia, ESA’s revolutionary stellar cartographer, set to transform astronomy

Gaia, ESA’s revolutionary stellar cartographer, set to transform astronomy On September 14, the team will release its first galaxy map, comprising more than two million stars and other objects, and with it a full 19 papers by Gaia astronomers.To deliver this information, Gaia is using one of the oldest techniques in astronomy: parallax, or the extent to which an object seems to move as your position changes.

Closest exoplanet Proxima b remains mysterious, in the absence of direct observation

Closest exoplanet Proxima b remains mysterious, in the absence of direct observation The best we can do right now is make some educated guesses about conditions on Proxima b.According to researchers at France’s CNRS, there’s at least a possibility that Proxima b has liquid oceans on the surface.

This week in space: gravity waves, NASA’s Mars shot, and a new ‘super Jupiter’

This week in space: gravity waves, NASA’s Mars shot, and a new ‘super Jupiter’ That’s why LIGO wants your help, or at least your computer’s.President Obama told the nation he thinks it’s pretty important that we send humans to Mars “by the 2030s.

New Project Blue space telescope to image exoplanets in Alpha Centauri

New Project Blue space telescope to image exoplanets in Alpha Centauri Now a just-announced collaboration called Project Blue has been founded to launch a lightweight, low-overhead space telescope, to look at the two largest stars in that system, Alpha Centauri A and B.The idea is that the Project Blue telescope would directly image any orbiting planets within the stars’ habitable zones.

Trouble around Mars and Jupiter: this week in space

Trouble around Mars and Jupiter: this week in space NASA and ESA are joining forces to try to re-establish communications between Schiaparelli and its sister spacecraft, TGO, or even Mars Express or the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, all of which are active in orbit around Mars.A little further out, Eta Carinae is a colossal binary star system that’s really tearing up its environment.

Nearby exoplanet Proxima b could be a habitable ocean world

Nearby exoplanet Proxima b could be a habitable ocean world That’s not the case with Proxima b, a small exoplanet that orbits the nearest star to our own, Proxima Centauri.Scientists haven’t been able to spot Proxima b transiting its star yet, but a new study of the Proxima Centauri system shows how Proxima b could be a habitable ocean planet.

The majority of habitable zone planets around red dwarf stars may be 'water worlds'

The majority of habitable zone planets around red dwarf stars may be 'water worlds' Finding a plausibly habitable planet in the Goldilocks zone around Proxima Centauri B, along with one around the even smaller red dwarf Trappist-1, were wake-up calls.They showed everyone we’d been paying less attention to red dwarf stars than we probably should, because red dwarf stars could play host to many more habitable-class planets than we knew.