nov 042013
 
Compact 'Twin' Solar System Discovered

  A team of astrophysicists at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und- Raumfahrt; DLR), together with German and other European colleagues, has discovered the most extensive planetary system to date. Seven planets circle the star KOI-351 – more than in other known planetary systems. They are arranged in a similar fashion to the [continue reading]

okt 282013
 
Carbon Worlds Likely Bone-Dry and Lifeless

  Planets rich in carbon, including so-called diamond planets, may lack oceans, according to NASA-funded theoretical research.  This artist’s concept illustrates the fate of two different planets: the one on the left is similar to Earth, made up largely of silicate-based rocks with oceans coating its surface. The one on the right is rich in [continue reading]

okt 122013
 
Finding Life on Exoplanets may be Harder than Thought

  Finding life on exoplanets may be more difficult than people thought, said Feng Tian, a professor at the Center for Earth System Science at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. The report was presented October 7th to the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Denver, CO. The result is of special interest [continue reading]

okt 112013
 
Water-rich Building Blocks Show Signs of Possible Past Life

  Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have found the building blocks of solid exoplanets that are capable of having substantial amounts of water. This rocky debris, currently orbiting a white dwarf star called GD 61, is considered a relic of an exoplanetary system that survived the burnout of its parent star. The finding suggests [continue reading]

okt 102013
 
A Free-Floating Baby Planet Found

  An international team of astronomers has discovered an exotic young planet that is not orbiting a star. This free-floating planet, dubbed PSO J318.5-22, is just 80 light-years away from Earth and has a mass only six times that of Jupiter. The planet formed a mere 12 million years ago—a newborn in planet lifetimes. Artist’s [continue reading]

okt 092013
 
Found: Planets Skimming a Star’s Surface

  A new planet-hunting survey has revealed planetary candidates with orbital periods as short as four hours and so close to their host stars that they are nearly skimming the stellar surface. If confirmed, these candidates would be among the closest planets to their stars discovered so far. Brian Jackson of the Carnegie Institution for [continue reading]