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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A Tale of a Lost Moon: Hubble Spies Neptune’s Moons and Its Rings

by David Dickinson October 8, 2013

“That’s no moon…” -B. Kenobi But in this case, it is… a lost moon of Neptune not seen since its discovery in the late 1980’s. A new announcement from the 45th Meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society being held this week in Denver, Colorado revealed the recovery of a […]

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Keck Spots A Galaxy Fueled With Ancient Gas

by Elizabeth Howell October 3, 2013

“Primordial hydrogen” sounds like a great name for a band. It’s also a great thing to find when you’re looking at a galaxy. This ancient gas is a leftover of the Big Bang, and astronomers discovered it in a faraway star-forming galaxy that was created when the universe was young. Elizabeth Howell on Google+

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Hydrogen Peroxide Could Feed Life on Europa

by Jason Major April 5, 2013

According to research by NASA astronomers using the next-generation optics of the 10-meter Keck II telescope, Jupiter’s ice-encrusted moon Europa has hydrogen peroxide across much of the surface of its leading hemisphere, a compound that could potentially provide energy for life if it has found its way into the moon’s subsurface ocean. “Europa has the […]

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The Brightest Galaxies in the Universe Were Invisible… Until Now

by Jason Major December 4, 2012

Hubble images of six of the starburst galaxies first found by ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory (Keck data shown below each in blue) Many of the brightest, most actively star-forming galaxies in the Universe were actually undetectable by Earth-based observatories, hidden from view by thick clouds of opaque dust and gas. Thanks to ESA’s Herschel space […]

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