Ryan Anderson

Extrasolar Volcanoes May Soon be Detectable

by Ryan Anderson September 7, 2010

We’ve all seen pictures of erupting terrestrial volcanoes from space, and even eruptions on Jupiter’s moon Io in the outer solar system, but would it be possible to detect an erupting volcano on an exoplanet? Astronomers say the answer is yes! (with a few caveats) It’s going to be decades before telescopes will be able […]

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Herschel Finds Water Around a Carbon Star

by Ryan Anderson September 5, 2010

There’s something strange going on around the red giant star CW Leonis (a.k.a. IRC+10216). Deep within the star’s carbon-rich veil, astronomers have detected water vapor where no water should be. CW Leonis is similar in mass to the sun, but much older and much larger. It is the nearest red giant to the sun, and […]

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Europa Analog Deep-Sea Vents Discovered in the Caribbean

by Ryan Anderson July 22, 2010

White sand, blue water, sunny skies, pina coladas. When you think of “extreme environments” I doubt the Caribbean is high on your list. But a team of scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic institute and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, exploring the 68-mile-long Mid-Cayman rise deep beneath the surface of the Caribbean, have discovered the deepest known […]

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WISE Mission Completes All-sky Infrared Survey

by Ryan Anderson July 20, 2010

If you take a lot of digital pictures, you’re probably familiar with the frustration of keeping track of dozens of files, and always running out of hard drive space to store them. Well, the scientists and engineers on NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission have no pity for you. Their spacecraft just finished photographing […]

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Hubble Confirms Comet-like Tail on Vaporizing Planet

by Ryan Anderson July 15, 2010

Next time you hear someone complaining that it’s too hot outside, you can make them feel better by pointing out that at least their planet isn’t so hot it is vaporizing into space. Unless of course you happen to be speaking to someone from the gaseous extrasolar planet HD 209458b. New observations from the Hubble […]

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