Articles about exoplanet


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
Artist's impression of a cloudy exoplanet

Astroboffin discovers exoplanet by accident ... in 1917

A reexamination of astronomical records has shown that an astronomer unknowingly snapped an exoplanet during the First World War – well before such bodies were confirmed in the 1990s. In 1917 Dutch-American astronomer Adriaan van Maanen, working at the Mount Wilson Observatory (then part of Carnegie Observatories), took a …
Iain Thomson, 13 Apr 2016

Short weekend break: Skegness or exoplanet HD 189733b?

Our recent piece examining the extreme weather on exoplanet HD 189733b prompted some readers to suggest that conditions on the distant hot Jupiter are in fact more benign than those enjoyed by visitors to British seaside resort Skegness. Well, for those of you thinking of taking a short weekend break over Xmas, the better to …
Lester Haines, 20 Nov 2015

Red dwarf superflares batter formerly 'habitable' exoplanet

Humanity may have to rethink colonisation plans for exoplanet Kepler-438b, since what was hailed earlier this year as a candidate to support life as we know it, has now been declared decidedly inhospitable. The planet - a probably rocky world with a diameter 12 per cent bigger than Earth - was identified back in January, …
Lester Haines, 18 Nov 2015

Today's exoplanet weather: 1,000°C, glass rain, 8,700 km/h winds

Those readers who enjoy complaining about the weather might like to consider a short weekend break on 'hot Jupiter' exoplanet HD 189733b, where conditions will give them something to really moan about. Studies of HD 189733b – discovered in 2005 transiting the star HD 189733, which lies some 63 light years from Earth in the …
Lester Haines, 13 Nov 2015
Credit: ESO/L. Benassi

Ideal solar system for SECOND EARTH found – and it's just 186 light-years away

There are hundreds of known exoplanets - worlds in orbit around other stars than our own Sun. The trouble is, because of the means used to detect them, that they tend to be big and very close to their faraway suns - and thus, sadly, not potential Earthlike habitable worlds. But that may have changed today. Excited astronomers …
Lewis Page, 16 Jul 2015
Artist's conception showing the inner four planets of the Gliese 581 system. GJ 581g, potentially habitable, is in the foreground. Credit: Lynette Cook/NSF

ATTENTION SETI scientists! It's TOO LATE: ALIENS will ATTACK in 2049

Today, top experts on aliens will debate one of the most pressing issues of modern times: to wit, should the human race send out signals with the aim of letting any possible extraterrestrial beings know we are here? But the brainboxes assembled in San Jose for the annual shindig of the American Association for the Advancement …
Lewis Page, 13 Feb 2015
NASA travel poster for Kepler-16b crop

Boffins open 'space travel bureau': Come relax on exoplanet Kepler-16b, says NASA

Pics NASA appears to be transforming itself into an intergalactic travel agency after issuing a series of cheery posters of exoplanets. "Kepler-186f is the first Earth-size planet discovered in the potentially 'habitable zone' around another star, where liquid water could exist on the planet's surface," said NASA's blurb. Visit …

ALIEN EARTH: Red sun's habitable world spotted 470 light years away

The discovery of new planets likely to be able to support life along Earthly lines has been announced, with one of the most promising candidates for alien and/or human habitability located just 470 light-years away. The new exoplanets have been discovered by analysis of data from the Kepler space telescope, and bear the tags …
Lewis Page, 7 Jan 2015
NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter image of the Moon

Astronomers spot hint of first EXOMOON, possibly

Thanks to the work of the Kepler space telescope and Earth-bound observations, we have now caught sight of nearly 2,000 exoplanets: planetary bodies orbiting distant stars. But now astronomers think they've caught the first sighting of an exomoon orbiting one of these distant planets. Planetary moons are relatively common in …
Iain Thomson, 11 Apr 2014

European Space Agency: PLATO will seek out 'ADVANCED LIFE forms'... 'SLIME'

The European Space Agency is planning to launch its own planet-hunting observatory in 2024, after the mission was chosen for the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme. Exoplanets The Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars, or PLATO, mission has been chosen to monitor relatively nearby stars, searching for the tiny dips in …
Artist's impression of an exoplanet orbiting a star in the cluster Messier 67

Boffins find ALIEN WORLD orbiting the Sun's LONG LOST TWIN

Boffins have located an alien world orbiting a solar twin to our own Sun for the first time. Artist's impression of an exoplanet orbiting a star in the cluster Messier 67 Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory's HARPS planet hunter in Chile and other telescopes around the world have found three such planets in …
Artist's impression of a cloudy exoplanet

Alien SUPER-EARTH: If there is LIFE up there, it'll be moaning about the weather

Two of the most common type of planets found in the Milky Way galaxy are cloudy, damp super-worlds, according to data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Artist's impression of a cloudy exoplanet Boffins have been trying for some time to figure discern what sort of atmospheres surround two planets: GJ 436b, which is 36 light …

Astroboffins spot HOT, YOUNG GIANT where she doesn't belong

Pix An international team of astroboffins has spotted an enormous exoplanet with such an improbably large orbit around its host star that it could turn cosmological theory on its head. Artist's conception of exoplanet HD 106906 b No this isn't a Hubble snap with lens flare, it's an artist's conception of the newly discovered …
Rik Myslewski, 6 Dec 2013

Alien planet is just like EARTH - except for ONE tiny detail

Four hundred light-years away in the constellation Cygnus there lies a G-type star very much like our own Sun. Orbiting it is a world scientists believe is very similar to Earth in both size and composition. This faraway planet, discovered by the Kepler space telescope and so dubbed Kepler-78b, is not a potential second home …
Lewis Page, 31 Oct 2013
Jupiterlike low mass exoplanet GJ 504b

Super-SVELTE BLUSH-PINK planet goes too far with star

Astronomers have detected a low-mass giant planet that challenges existing theories about how bigger worlds are formed. Jupiterlike low mass exoplanet GJ 504b Artist's impression ... the Jupiter-like low-mass exoplanet GJ 504b The Jupiter-sized world, dubbed GJ 504b, was found much further out in its star's orbit than a …

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