Extrasolar Planets

This Robotic Laser System On A Telescope Is Looking At Alien Planets

by Elizabeth Howell August 5, 2014

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter There’s a group of people probing exoplanets with a laser robot, and the results are showing a few surprises. Specifically, a survey of “hot Jupiters” — the huge gas giants in tight orbits around their parent stars — shows that they […]

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Companion Planet Could Keep Alien Earths Warm In Old Age: Study

by Elizabeth Howell August 1, 2014

People are generally social creatures, and in the case of planets that generally is the case as well. Many of these alien worlds we have discovered are in groups of two or more around their parent star or stars. A new study, however, goes a step further and says that a companion planet could actually […]

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Hubble Finds 3 (Relatively) Dry Exoplanets, Raising Questions About Water Outside The Solar System

by Elizabeth Howell July 24, 2014

Surprise! Three planets believed to be good candidates for having water vapor in their atmosphere actually have much lower quantities than expected. The planets (HD 189733b, HD 209458b, and WASP-12b) are “hot Jupiters” that are orbiting very close to their parent star, at a distance where it was expected the extreme temperatures would turn water […]

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First Exoplanet Discovered Beyond the “Snow Line”

by Shannon Hall July 22, 2014

Data from NASA’s crippled Kepler space telescope has unleashed a windfall of hot Jupiters — sizzling gas giants that circle their host star within days — and only a handful of Earth-like planets. A quick analysis might make it seem as though hot Jupiters are far more common than their smaller and more distant counterparts. […]

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The Search for Alien Life Could Get A Boost From NASA’s Next-Generation Rocket

by Elizabeth Howell July 14, 2014

In three years, NASA is planning to light the fuse on a huge rocket designed to bring humans further out into the solar system. We usually talk about SLS here in the context of the astronauts it will carry inside the Orion spacecraft, which will have its own test flight later in 2014. But today, […]

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