jan 252013
 
The Origin and Maintenance of a Retrograde Exoplanet

  Astronomers have used the Subaru Telescope to show that the HAT-P-7 planetary system, which is about 1040 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus, includes at least two giant planets and one companion star (Figure 1). The discovery of a previously unknown companion (HAT-P-7B) to the central star (HAT-P-7) as well as confirmation [continue reading]

sep 152012
 
Planets Found Around Sun-Like Stars in a Cluster

  NASA-funded astronomers have, for the first time, spotted planets orbiting Sun-like stars in a crowded cluster of stars. The findings offer the best evidence yet that planets can sprout up in dense stellar environments. Although the newfound planets are not habitable, their skies would be starrier than what we see from Earth. Astronomers have [continue reading]

jul 252012
 
Two Solar System Puzzles Solved

  Comets and asteroids preserve the building blocks of our Solar System and should help explain its origin. But there are unsolved puzzles. For example, how did icy comets obtain particles that formed at high temperatures, and how did these refractory particles acquire rims with different compositions? Carnegie’s theoretical astrophysicist Alan Boss and cosmochemist Conel [continue reading]