Exoplanets TOP STORY

Astronomers Discover An Earth-sized "pi planet" With A 3.14-day Orbit

© MIT

K2-315b

In a delightful alignment of astronomy and mathematics, scientists at MIT and elsewhere have discovered a "pi Earth" -- an Earth-sized planet that zips around its star every 3.14 days, in an orbit reminiscent of the universal mathematics constant.


Full Story

Exoplanets

Carbon-rich Exoplanets May Be Made Of Diamonds

© NASA

Copernicus Detail

As missions like NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, TESS and Kepler continue to provide insights into the properties of exoplanets (planets around other stars), scientists are increasingly able to piece together what these planets look like, what they are made of, and if they could be habitable or even inhabited.

Exoplanets

ALMA Captures A Stirred-up Planet Factory

ALMA Captures A Stirred-up Planet Factory

Planet-forming environments can be much more complex and chaotic than previously expected. This is evidenced by a new image of the star RU Lup, made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).


Exoplanets

First Exposed Planetary Core Discovered

First Exposed Planetary Core Discovered

A year that is a mere 18 hours TOI 849 b is an extremely unusual planet in the so-called "Neptune Desert" - a term used by astronomers for a region close to stars where we rarely see planets of Neptune's mass or larger.


Exoplanets

Super Earths Discovered Orbiting Nearby Red Dwarf Gliese 887

Super Earths Discovered Orbiting Nearby Red Dwarf Gliese 887

The nearest exoplanets to us provide the best opportunities for detailed study, including searching for evidence of life outside the Solar System.


Exoplanets

Rogue's Gallery Of Dusty Star Systems Reveals Exoplanet Nurseries

Rogue's Gallery Of Dusty Star Systems Reveals Exoplanet Nurseries

Astronomers this month released the largest collection of sharp, detailed images of debris disks around young stars, showcasing the great variety of shapes and sizes of stellar systems during their prime planet-forming years. Surprisingly, nearly all showed evidence of planets.


Exoplanets

Young Giant Planet Offers Clues to Formation of Exotic Worlds

Young Giant Planet Offers Clues to Formation of Exotic Worlds

Jupiter-size planets orbiting close to their stars have upended ideas about how giant planets form. Finding young members of this planet class could help answer key questions.


Exoplanets

WASP-79b Has Yellow Skies And Iron Rain

WASP-79b Has Yellow Skies And Iron Rain

The weather forecast for the giant, super-hot Jupiter-size planet WASP-79b is steamy humidity, scattered clouds, iron rain, and yellow skies.


Exoplanets

Researchers Use 'Hot Jupiter' Data to Mine Exoplanet Chemistry

Researchers Use 'Hot Jupiter' Data to Mine Exoplanet Chemistry

After spotting a curious pattern in scientific papers -- they described exoplanets as being cooler than expected -- Cornell astronomers have improved a mathematical model to accurately gauge the temperatures of planets from solar systems hundreds of light-years away.


Exoplanets

Cheops Observes Its First Exoplanets And Is Ready For Science

Cheops, ESA's new exoplanet mission, has successfully completed its almost three months of in-orbit commissioning, exceeding expectations for its performance.


Exoplanets

Safety Zone Saves Giant Moons From Fatal Plunge

Safety Zone Saves Giant Moons From Fatal Plunge

Numerical simulations showed that the temperature gradient in the disk of gas around a young gas giant planet could play a critical role in the development of a satellite system dominated by a single large moon, similar to Titan around Saturn.


Exoplanets

What If Mysterious 'Cotton Candy' Planets Actually Sport Rings?

What If Mysterious 'Cotton Candy' Planets Actually Sport Rings?

Some of the extremely low-density, "cotton candy like" exoplanets called super-puffs may actually have rings, according to new research from Carnegie's Anthony Piro and Caltech's Shreyas Vissapragada.


Exoplanets

An 18-hour Year Planet Is On The Edge Of Destruction

An 18-hour Year Planet Is On The Edge Of Destruction

Astronomers from the University of Warwick have observed an exoplanet orbiting a star in just over 18 hours, the shortest orbital period ever observed for a planet of its type.


Exoplanets

TESS Mission Uncovers Its First World with Two Stars

TESS Mission Uncovers Its First World with Two Stars

In 2019, when Wolf Cukier finished his junior year at Scarsdale High School in New York, he joined NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, as a summer intern. His job was to examine variations in star brightness captured by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and uploaded to the Planet Hunters TESS citizen science project.


Exoplanets

Massive Gas Disk Raises Questions About Planet Formation Theory

Massive Gas Disk Raises Questions About Planet Formation Theory

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) found a young star surrounded by an astonishing mass of gas.


Exoplanets

'Cotton Candy' Planet Mysteries Unravel in New Hubble Observations

'Cotton Candy' Planet Mysteries Unravel in New Hubble Observations

New data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have provided the first clues to the chemistry of two of these super-puffy planets, which are located in the Kepler 51 system.



More top stories from February.