Articles about planet


Alien sun has smashing time sucking up planets

Scientists believe they have captured direct evidence of a star feasting on its own planets for the first time. RW Aur, a binary star system located in the Auriga constellation 450 light years from Earth, has long puzzled astronomers. The light from one of its stars, RW Aur A, repeatedly dims and flickers back to life every …
Katyanna Quach, 20 Jul 2018

Astroboffins spot planets swimming in the mists of forming stars

Scientists have found a trio of baby planets using a new technique of spotting unusual gas motion around developing stars. The new technique described in a pair of papers in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. It’s the first time it’s been used to find planets and has spotted three around the newborn star codenamed HD163296. …
Katyanna Quach, 13 Jun 2018
Artist's impression of the TRAPPIST-1 system seen from one of the planets. Pic: ESO / M. Kornmesser

PACK YOUR BAGS! Two Trappist-1 planets have watery oceans, most likely to be inhabitable

A team of scientists have identified two out of the seven planets in the Trappist-1 system as the most likely to be habitable, according to a new study. Since its discovery, announced earlier last year, the Trappist-1 system has been of great interest to astronomers – and anyone else sick of Earth, to be honest. A previous …
Katyanna Quach, 24 Jan 2018

Mass limit proposed so boffins can tell when they've fingered a brown dwarf or a fat planet

The official definition of a planet should be updated to include an upper mass limit, so scientists can agree on whether a large newly found celestial body is either a huge planet – or a tiny failed star. That's according to Kevin Schlaufman, an assistant professor of astrophysics at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, US. …
Katyanna Quach, 24 Jan 2018

Astroboffins spot a fat 'monster' ALIEN planet terrorizing tiny dwarf

Pic Scientists have discovered a new “monster” alien world that challenges today's theories about planet formation due to its sheer size. The giant, known as NGTS-1b, is 600 light years away and is the biggest planet compared to the size of its parent star NGTS-1 ever found. NGTS-1b is a hot Jupiter, a rare class of exoplanet. …
Katyanna Quach, 31 Oct 2017

Pack your bags! NASA spots SEVEN nearby Earth-sized alien worlds

Pics and video NASA has discovered a mini solar system of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a small cool dwarf star, including three within the Goldilocks zone where liquid water is possible. Last year, a telescope in Chile – dubbed the TRAPPIST aka the TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope – spotted two planets orbiting an …
Iain Thomson, 22 Feb 2017

Amid new push to make Pluto a planet again... Get over it, ice-world's assassin tells El Reg

The ongoing argument over whether Pluto is an actual planet or just a dwarf on the outskirts of the Solar System has heated up again – with a new proposal to reapply planetary status to the distant iceball. In a vote in 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) decided to reduce the status of Pluto to that of a dwarf …
Iain Thomson, 21 Feb 2017

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 …
An artist's conception of Kepler-34b which orbits a double-star system

NASA's astroboffins spot the largest ever Tatooine planet

A team of astronomers led by NASA have discovered the largest circumbinary planet on record, according to the American Astronomical Society. The research has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal with Veselin Kostov, a NASA Goddard postdoctoral fellow, as lead author. Circumbinary planets are sometimes …
Katyanna Quach, 13 Jun 2016

Kepler space telescope spots 1,284 new planets

It's barely been 30 years since NASA spotted its first planet outside our solar system but on Tuesday the agency reported its biggest collection of sightings to date – 1,284 confirmed planets, along with 1,327 additional probable sightings and 707 possibles. The data comes from NASA's Kepler space telescope, which has been …
Iain Thomson, 10 May 2016
Ninth planet from the Sun

Boffins: There's a ninth planet out there – now we just need to find it

Pic Scientists at CalTech claim to have found proof that there is a ninth planet in the solar system, using computer modeling and historical astronomy data. The new planet has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and has a very eccentric path around our Sun, making one complete orbit every 10,000 or 20,000 years and travelling 200 …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jan 2016
51 Eridani b

Boffins spot a SECOND JUPITER – the gas giant's baby sister

Pic Pictures from the universe-scanning Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) show a young Jupiter-like world that formed just 20 million years ago. That's well after the dinosaurs became extinct on grand old Earth. Gemini spots the planet 51 Eridani b ... Superb imaging from Gemini The young gas giant, dubbed 51 Eridani b, is about …
Iain Thomson, 14 Aug 2015
Kepler 452b

NASA: 'Closest thing yet to ANOTHER EARTH' - FOUND

Pics NASA boffins say they have found the closest thing yet to another Earth – Kepler-452b. Apparently the Valeria*-esque planet has heavy gravity, such that should humans ever colonise it they would become immensely strong. "This is the closest thing we've yet found to another Earth," said Jon Jenkins, Kepler data analysis chief …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jul 2015

NASA's Messenger craft SMASHES into Mercury: See ya later, alien crater

Pic NASA's Messenger space probe has slammed into the planet Mercury at 3.9km per second (8,724mph) – creating the first human-made crater on the innermost planet of our solar system. Well I guess it is time to say goodbye to all my friends, family, support team. I will be making my final impact very soon. — MESSENGER (@ …
Iain Thomson, 30 Apr 2015
Artist's concept of Kepler 22b

Kepler's STILL GOT IT! Space telescope spots SUPER-EARTH 180 light years away

The Kepler space telescope might be damaged goods, but the clever hacks created by NASA's boffins have kept it running and it has spotted a new – if distant – planet that could harbor water, just like Earth. "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Kepler has been reborn and is continuing to make discoveries. Even better, the …
Iain Thomson, 20 Dec 2014

NASA finds first Earth-sized planet in a habitable zone around star

NASA's Kepler space telescope has spotted the first Earth-sized planet in orbit around a star in the so-called Goldilocks zone – the zone around a star that's not too hot or too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface. "We know of just one planet where life exists – Earth," said Elisa Quintana, research scientist at the …
Iain Thomson, 17 Apr 2014
The Register breaking news

Starlight-sifting boffins can now spot ALIEN LIFE LIGHT YEARS AWAY

Pics Boffins have made a breakthrough in the search for alien life with a new technique for determining the colours, chemical composition and even physical characteristics of exoplanets that are light years away. Chemical analysis progression of HR8799 planets Chemical analysis progression of HR8799 planets Credit: American …
protoplanet home

Stargazers spot first-ever planet forming in dusty disc

An international team of astronomers has spotted what appears to be the first sighting of a planet being born from stellar debris, possibly confirming theories about the origins of the Solar System protoplanet And the universe said, "Let there be a planet!" The proto-planet is forming from a huge disc of dust and space …
Iain Thomson, 28 Feb 2013

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