Extrasolar Planets

Kepler Has Found the First Earth-Sized Exoplanet in a Habitable Zone!

by Jason Major April 17, 2014

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter It’s truly a “eureka” moment for Kepler scientists: the first rocky Earth-sized world has been found in a star’s habitable “Goldilocks” zone, the narrow belt where liquid water could readily exist on a planet’s surface without freezing solid or boiling away. […]

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“Death Stars” Caught Blasting Proto-Planets

by David Dickinson March 13, 2014

 It’s a tough old universe out there. A young star has lots to worry about, as massive stars just beginning to shine can fill a stellar nursery with a gale of solar wind. No, it’s not a B-movie flick: the “Death Stars of Orion” are real. Such monsters come in the form of young, O-type […]

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Giant Planet May Be Lurking In ‘Poisonous’ Gas Around Beta Pictoris

by Elizabeth Howell March 7, 2014

A Saturn-mass planet might be lurking in the debris surrounding Beta Pictoris, new measurements of a debris field around the star shown. If this could be proven, this would be the second planet found around that star. The planet would be sheparding a giant swarm of comets (some in front and some trailing behind the […]

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Mega Discovery! 715 Alien Planets Confirmed Using A New Trick On Old Kepler Data

by Elizabeth Howell February 26, 2014

Planet-watchers, some exciting news: you know how we keep talking about planet candidates, those planets that have yet to be confirmed, when we reveal stories about other worlds? That’s because verifying that the slight dimming of a star’s light is due to a planet takes time – -specifically, to have other telescopes verify it through […]

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New Technique Finds Water in Exoplanet Atmospheres

by Jason Major February 25, 2014

As more and more exoplanets are identified and confirmed by various observational methods, the still-elusive “holy grail” is the discovery of a truly Earthlike world… one of the hallmarks of which is the presence of liquid water. And while it’s true that water has been identified in the thick atmospheres of “hot Jupiter” exoplanets before, […]

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