nov 202012
'Super-Jupiter' Around Massive Star Directly Imaged

  Astronomers using infrared data from the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii have discovered a “super-Jupiter” around the bright star Kappa Andromedae, which now holds the record for the most massive star known to host a directly imaged planet or lightweight brown dwarf companion. The “super-Jupiter” Kappa Andromedae b, shown here in an artist’s rendering, circles [continue reading]

aug 242012
41 New Exoplanets Discovered!

  Two newly submitted studies verify 41 new transiting planets in 20 star systems. These results may increase the number of Kepler’s confirmed planets by more than 50 percent: to 116 planets hosted in 67 systems, over half of which contain more than one planet. The papers are currently under scientific peer-review. The diagram shows [continue reading]

jul 072012
Solar System's Larger Twin Found

  Astronomers have detected our cosmic twin: A planetary system arranged much like our own solar system. But GJ676A is only much larger than our system, a new study says.  The Gliese system is one of several newfound solar systems, including GJ676A (not pictured). Image credit: Dana Berry, National Geographic Dubbed GJ676A, the system has two rocky planets [continue reading]

feb 292012
New model provides different take on planetary accretion

T. A. Rector & B. A. Wolpa, NOAO, AURA, This image of the Eagle Nebula, made with data from the Kitt Peak telescope, corresponds more closely to the authors’ model than to the traditional model. In their model planets form in a cold, three-dimensional cloud of gas and dust.   The prevailing model for planetary [continue reading]