mei 132013
 
 First Exoplanet Found by Using New Method

  Detecting alien worlds presents a significant challenge since they are small, faint, and close to their stars. The two most prolific techniques for finding exoplanets are radial velocity (looking for wobbling stars) and transits (looking for dimming stars). A team at Tel Aviv University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) has just discovered [continue reading]

nov 262012
 
Highly Inflated Jupiters, a New Subclass of Exoplanets

  There are currently 851 confirmed exoplanets. Of these, 289 were detected because their orbits (as seen from Earth) take them across the face of their host star, dimming the star’s light in what is known as a transit event. The Kepler satellite has provided the largest set of transiting exoplanets and, if the list [continue reading]

sep 202012
 
Curiosity Targets Unusual Rock on Its Journey

  NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has driven up to a football-size rock that will be the first for the rover’s arm to examine. The drive by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity during the mission’s 43rd Martian day, or sol, (Sept. 19, 2012) ended with this rock about 8 feet (2.5 meters) in front of the rover. [continue reading]

aug 292012
 
Found: Two Planets Orbiting Around Two Suns

  A team of astronomers has found the first transiting circumbinary multi-planet system: two planets orbiting around a pair of stars. This discovery shows that planetary systems can form and survive even in the chaotic environment around a binary star. And that such planets can exist in the habitable zone of their stars. The results [continue reading]

mrt 272012
 
Space Observations of Mercury Transits Yield Precise Solar Radius

A group of scientists from Hawaii, Brazil and California has measured the diameter of the Sun with unprecedented accuracy by using a spacecraft to time the transits of the planet Mercury across the face of the Sun in 2003 and 2006.   Mercury’s path across the solar disk as seen from SOHO on November 8, 2006. [continue reading]