jul 012013
Three Planets in Habitable Zone of Nearby Star

  During my holiday, there was lots of news from the Universe. In case you were not informed in another way, I’ll still publish the most important items.    Gliese 667C reexamined   A team of astronomers has combined new observations of Gliese 667C with existing data from HARPS at ESO’s 3.6-metre telescope in Chile, [continue reading]

mei 292013
How Ordinary is Our Planet?

  It’s the default premise in science: If you observe something in nature only once, you assume that what you’ve seen is typical. That’s because “typical” is just another way of saying “most probable.” Consequently, ever since Copernicus redrew the blueprint of the Cosmos nearly five centuries ago, we’ve assumed that there would be other planets [continue reading]

apr 192013
Three Super-Earths in 'Habitable Zone' Discovered

  NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered two new planetary systems that include three super-Earth-sized planets in the “habitable zone,” the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water. Relative sizes of Kepler habitable zone planets discovered as of April 18, 2013. Left to [continue reading]

mrt 182013
Super-Dense Celestial Bodies could be a New Kind of Planet

  Space telescope’s discoveries may be the remains of wandering ice giants   Mysterious dense bodies outside the Solar System could be the remnants of ice giants similar to Neptune that wandered too close to their suns, according to results presented last week at a meeting on exoplanets at the Royal Society in London. Compressed [continue reading]

feb 042013
Many Super-Earths Seem to be More Like Mini-Neptunes

  In the last two decades astronomers have found hundreds of planets in orbit around other stars. One type of these so-called ‘exoplanets’ is the super-Earths that are thought to have a high proportion of rock but at the same time are significantly bigger than our own world. Now a new study led by Helmut [continue reading]

nov 272012
Solar Systems Without Jupiters Mean Massive Comet Belts

  Using ESA’s Herschel space observatory, astronomers have discovered vast comet belts surrounding two nearby planetary systems known to host only Earth-to-Neptune-mass worlds. The comet reservoirs could have delivered life-giving oceans to the innermost planets. Artist impression of the debris disk and planets around the star known as Gliese 581, superimposed on Herschel PACS images [continue reading]