Articles about exoplanet

hale_telescope

Hello DARKNESS, my old friend. I've come to talk with you again... about a 10,000-pixel alien-hunting camera

Astronomers are building the world’s largest and most advanced superconducting camera – with the goal of snapping clearer shots of exoplanets for scientists hunting alien life. Thousands of exoplanets have been detected by telescopes in space. Instruments on probes look for the characteristic dip in light emitted from stars …
Katyanna Quach, 18 Apr 2018

Is there alien life out there? Let's turn to AI, problem solver du jour

A team of astroboffins have built artificial neural networks that estimate the probability of exoplanets harboring alien life. The research was presented during a talk on Wednesday at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science in Liverpool, United Kingdom. The neural network works by classifying planets into five …
TRAPPIST-1

Oh bucket! Unpack the suitcases. TRAPPIST-1 planets too wet to support life

New research published in Nature Astronomy has poured, er, cold water on hopes that it may be possible to detect life on Earth-sized planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system. The planets might be just too wet. There was considerable excitement a year ago, when NASA's veteran Spitzer Space Telescope spotted seven Earth-sized planets …
Richard Speed, 21 Mar 2018

16 exoplanets found huddled around 12 lightweight stars

A team of astronomers have spotted 16 exoplanets, including a ‘super-Earth’ that might hold liquid water, hovering around 12 low mass stars hundreds of light years away from the Solar System. One of the most luminous red dwarf stars, codenamed K2-155, in the dozen is of particular interest. Located about 200 light years away, …
Katyanna Quach, 12 Mar 2018
Space debris field

For all we know, aliens could be as careless with space junk as us

A physicist at the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias in the Canary Islands has proposed a way by which planet hunters might detect advanced alien technology. Simply look for their junk in orbit. Thousands of exoplanets have been discovered in recent years, and huge observatories such as NASA's James Webb Space Telescope ( …
Richard Speed, 8 Mar 2018
Artist's impression of Proxima Centauri flare

Inviting nearby exoplanet revealed as radiation-baked hell

Seekers of new worlds for humans to colonise will have to look further afield than Proxima Centauri after the detection of huge solar flares showed its planets are probably uninhabitable. Proxima Centauri became a candidate for exploration, colonisation and/or alien investigation in 2016, when its second planet - Proxima …

Sigh. It's not quite Star Trek's Data, but it'll do: AI helps boffins clock second Solar System

Our Solar System is no longer the largest known planetary system in the Milky Way – after scientists confirmed the existence of an eighth planet, Kepler-90i, around a Sun-like star on Thursday. The discovery was made after Christopher Shallue, a senior software engineer at Google, and Andrew Vanderburg, a postdoctoral fellow …
Katyanna Quach, 15 Dec 2017

How is 55 Cancri e like a Sisters of Mercy gig? Astroboffins: It has atmosphere

A new physical model has added more support to the theory that the large exoplanet 55 Cancri e has an Earthlike atmosphere. A study describing the work by researchers Isabel Angelo, of the University of California, Berkeley, and Renyu Hu, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was published Thursday in The Astronomical Journal …
Andrew Silver, 20 Nov 2017

Hubble catches a glimpse WASP-12b, an almost pitch-black exoplanet

Scientists studying WASP-12b, an exoplanet 871 light years from Earth, have determined that it reflects almost no light, making it one of the darkest planets in space. The team has published their results in a paper in The Astrophysical Journal on Thursday. The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on board the Hubble Space …
Katyanna Quach, 14 Sep 2017

Cancel your summer trip to nearby Proxima b. No chance of life, room service, say boffins

NASA scientists have dashed hopes that Proxima Centauri b, an Earth-ish-like planet orbiting the closest star to the Sun, could be habitable. Last year, it emerged there was a rocky exoplanet, dubbed Proxima Centauri b, within Proxima Centauri's crucial Goldilocks zone – meaning there was an alien world in the sweet spot …

PLATO mission to find alien life is given the thumbs up

The European Space Agency’s PLATO mission hunting for habitable exoplanets has been given the green light to move from blueprint into construction. It was previously selected in 2014 as part of the ESA’s Cosmic Vision Programme, but the launch date has been pushed out two years from 2024 to 2026. The goal is to detect Earth- …
Katyanna Quach, 22 Jun 2017

Horror in space: Hot alien giant boiled alive by nasty radiation-belching star

Astronomers have discovered KELT‑9b – the hottest giant exoplanet yet seen. It is twice the size of Jupiter, has a dayside temperature of 4,600 Kelvin, and is being stripped by ultraviolet radiation from its star, KELT‑9. Thousands of exoplanets – alien worlds beyond our own solar system – have been spotted in the depths of …

Warm, wet, mysterious... sound familiar? Ah, yes, you've heard of this second Neptune, too

A strange, distant planet HAT-P-26b has an atmosphere full of water vapor, hydrogen and helium – and could change how scientists think of planet formation. The exoplanet is hovering 437 light years away from Earth, orbiting a dwarf star twice as old as the Sun. It was found in 2011, and on Friday this week, more light was shed …
Katyanna Quach, 13 May 2017

PACK YOUR BAGS! Boffins spot Earth-size planet most likeliest yet to harbor alien life

Scientists have spotted a planet slightly larger than Earth orbiting a distant star that looks to be the best contender yet for hosting life as we know it. In a paper in the journal Nature, published today, the team lead by Jason Dittmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics described LHS 1140, a rocky exoplanet …
Iain Thomson, 19 Apr 2017

Feel like a spot of planet-hunting? Here's 1,600 suns worth of data

Here's a treat for amateur exoplanet-hunters and experts alike: 20 years' worth of observations from the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii, complete with application and tutorial. The data release, led by the Carnegie Institution for Science, includes 61,000 measurements of more than 1,600 nearby stars. According to participant …
Kepler

Kepler's K2 mission confirms 104 Earth-like planets

An international team of astronomers has confirmed a treasure trove of new exoplanets spotted by NASA's Kepler spacecraft during its K2 mission. Kepler was launched in 2009 to search for Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars. Scientists describe the region where an exoplanet might be the right distance away from a star to …
Katyanna Quach, 19 Jul 2016

Science non-fiction: Newly spotted alien world bathes in glow of three stars

A newly discovered planet is wedged in-between three stars and experiences triple sunrises and sunsets every day, according to new research published in Science. The planet, HD 131399Ab, is 340 light years away from Earth and can be found in Centaurus constellation – one of the largest constellations in the sky. "HD 131399Ab …

Planet 9 a captured alien, astroboffins suggest

Astroboffins have boldly suggested that the hypothetical trans-Neptunian Planet 9 is in fact an exoplanet captured by our young Sun from another star. That's according to astronomers from Sweden's Lund University and the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux, who questioned the plausibility of a planet some ten times the …
Lester Haines, 1 Jun 2016

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