Recently in the Planets Category


Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have conducted the first search for atmospheres around temperate, Earth-sized planets beyond our solar system and found indications that increase the chances of habitability on two exoplanets.

An international team of astronomers has discovered and confirmed a treasure trove of new worlds using NASA's Kepler spacecraft on its K2 mission.

Astronomers have "cracked" a very cold case with the dissection of light from the coldest known brown dwarf.

A team of astronomers has confirmed the existence of a young planet, only 11 million years old, that orbits very close to its star (at 0.05 AU), with an orbital period of 5.4 days.

An international team of astronomers have found that there are far more planets of the hot Jupiter type than expected in a cluster of stars called Messier 67.

A planet discovered last year sitting at an unusually large distance from its star -- 16 times farther than Pluto is from the Sun -- may have been kicked out of its birthplace close to the star in a process similar to what may have happened early in our own solar system's history.

Most Earth-Like Worlds Have Yet to Be Born

Earth came early to the party in the evolving universe

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered never-before-seen moving features within the dusty disk surrounding the young, nearby star AU Microscopii (AU Mic).

As astronomers continue finding new rocky planets around distant stars, high-pressure physicists are considering what the interiors of those planets might be like and how their chemistry could differ from that found on Earth.

The Trigger for Solar System Formation

New work from Carnegie's Alan Boss and Sandra Keiser provides surprising new details about the trigger that may have started the earliest phases of planet formation in our solar system.

A planet 100 light-years away that resembles a young Jupiter has been discovered by an international team of astronomers that includes six UCLA scientists.

Although people have been naming celestial objects for millennia, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the authority responsible for assigning official names to celestial bodies.

Sibling suns -- made famous in the "Star Wars" scene where Luke Skywalker gazes toward a double sunset -- and the planets around them may be more common than we've thought, and Cornell University astronomers are presenting new ideas on how to find them.

Observing the Birth of a Planet

Observing time at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) on Paranal Mountain is a very precious commodity.

New work from Carnegie's Alan Boss offers a potential solution to a longstanding problem in the prevailing theory of how rocky planets formed in our own solar system, as well as in others.

For a planet, this would be like a day at the spa. After years of growing old, a massive planet could, in theory, brighten up with a radiant, youthful glow.

Astronomers from Leiden University and the University of Arizona have successfully commissioned a new type of optic that can reveal the image of an exoplanet next to its parent star.

Determining the size of an Earth-size exoplanet by the amount of starlight it blocks hundreds of light-years away once was the realm of science fiction.

The matter that makes up distant planets and even-more-distant stars exists under extreme pressure and temperature conditions.

They wouldn't float like balloons or give you the chance to talk in high, squeaky voices, but planets with helium skies may constitute an exotic planetary class in our Milky Way galaxy.

NASA's Kepler spacecraft, known for its planet-hunting prowess of other stars, is also studying solar system objects. In its new K2 mission, Neptune and two of its moons, Triton and Nereid, have been imaged.

The exoplanet 51 Pegasi b lies some 50 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Pegasus. It was discovered in 1995 and will forever be remembered as the first confirmed exoplanet to be found orbiting an ordinary star like the Sun.

Astronomers have probed deeper than before into a planetary system 130 light-years from Earth.

The debris disk closest to Earth is the one around the star epsilon Eridani at a distance of 3.2 pc. It is the prime target for detailed studies of a belt of planetesimals left from the early phase of planet formation other than the Kuiper Belt.

Astronomers have used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to take the most detailed picture to date of a large, edge-on, gas-and-dust disk encircling the 20-million-year-old star Beta Pictoris.