Recently, the scientific community was all excited because a new exoplanet was discovered, and this one is in the coveted “habitable zone” that makes real estate so valuable, and it’s even pretty close by! It’s called Proxima Centauri b, and I want to know how well my car is going to drive when I get it there. Sadly,…
Have you squared away all your summer vacation plans, yet? Why not a trip to this dark, airless—yet, still a little glamorous—outer world, as per the suggestion of NASA’s Travel Bureau?
NASA has proven itself to be quite adept at finding planets lately, and this week is no exception: using the Spitzer Space Telescoe, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Lab have found HD 219134b, a rocky exoplanet ‘just’ 21 light-years away.
The image you’re looking at is a rare and beautiful event. Every 115 years, Venus crosses our Sun in Earth’s line of sight—twice. And when the most recent crossing took place, scientists used the event to take a peek at Venus’s atmosphere, refining tools that’ll one day help astronomers search distant worlds for signs…
How is it Sunday already? Here's links to things that were cool and not discussed on Space this week:
The massive carbon monoxide clouds observed in the Beta Pictoris planetary system are just weird. The star's ultraviolet light breaks down the gas within a century, so massive Mars-sized comets need to be constantly colliding to supply new gas.
Pi is for planets, and spacecraft, for orbital dynamics and craters. It's 3.14, and it's all about circles.
Kepler is the plucky little spacecraft that taught us that planets are everywhere. It captured the imagination of farmers, citizen-scientists, and astronomers alike. This is the story of Kepler: a celebration of turning the theories of planetary science upside-down.
The search for Earth 2.0 just got more serious. NASA has teamed up with MIT scientists to expand the search for planets beyond our solar system. The mission's primary goal: identify terrestrial planets in the habitable zone of their parent stars – the region surrounding a star where it is possible for a planet to…
This planet is a hot Jupiter, meaning it's a massive gas giant that orbits in tight proximity to its star. That may not sound like home, but its star could double for our Sun... if you ignore its location.
There are 2,299 exoplanets featured in the video up top, all of which have been discovered by NASA's Kepler spacecraft since 2009.
Imagine you're outside, walking happily on a beautiful sunny day. Suddenly, the light gets intense. You look up, and see a bright flash filling everything. Seconds later, a powerful wind starts pushing the clouds out of view at hypersonic speed. Buildings, trees, and people fly away, disintegrating into a billion…
If Saturn was a star, it might well be Fomalhaut. Much like our neighboring gas giant, this star is surrounded by a gigantic ring of dust. The disc gets its sharp, ring-like structure from two planets, one on either side.
Red dwarfs are by far the universe's most common stars, but it really doesn't seem like they're made for supporting life. The latest simulations suggest that the tidal forces of these stars' gravity would wipe out any chance of life.
We keep making amazing exoplanet discoveries, but our solar system has still had two big trump cards: we're the only one known to have life (obviously), and we've got the most planets of any known solar system. Well, about that...
Just like our Sun will five billion years from now, KIC 05807616 ran out of hydrogen and expanded into a massive red giant, wreaking havoc on its solar system. The results might just be the planetary equivalent of cell division.
At first glance, there doesn't seem to be anything particularly remarkable about star HIP 11952 and its two planets. But its iron-poor composition reveals these planets are 13 billion years old — almost as ancient as the Big Bang itself.
Our solar system is pretty sparkling clean when it comes to dust. That isn't necessarily the case elsewhere, as many other stars are surrounded by thick disks of debris. These might actually be the perfect places to find Earth-like planets.
The latest estimates suggest there are at least 160 billion exoplanets in the Milky Way alone, which means there could easily be several billion potentially habitable worlds in our galaxy. But are all these Earth-like planets really like our home?