261–280 of 285 results

Professional Telescopes

Planetary Preemies?

Protoplanetary disks around three young stars turn out to have large central holes, which were presumably cleared by still-growing Jupiter-mass planets. But there’s a problem: the stars are too young.


At Last, an Exoplanet by Astrometry

After decades of frustration and false alarms, astronomers may finally have a new method in their toolkit for finding planets around other stars: astrometry.


Exoplanet Mapping Tested on Earth

Researchers are developing a method to detect oceans and clouds on planets orbiting other stars. To test this idea, they aimed the telescope aboard NASA’s Deep Impact probe toward Earth, and made a rough map of our world.


Fomalhaut's Disk and Fomalhaut's Spin

Way out in the circumstellar cold, a planet and a rubble disk orbit bright Fomalhaut. Does this have anything to do with the star's own rotation?


Super Sendoff for Planet-Hunting Kepler

After a dramatic and flawless liftoff, NASA's newest space observatory is getting ready to observe a tract of Milky May with a single-minded purpose: find as many alien worlds as it can.


COROT Finds the Smallest Exoplanet Yet

Astronomers have found the smallest transiting exoplanet yet, with a silhouette only about 1.7 Earth diameters wide. It's also the fastest-orbiting planet known, with a "year" lasting 20 hours.


HD 80606b: The Hotheaded Exoplanet

Astronomers have found a "hot Jupiter" whose atmospheric temperature jumps nearly 1,300°F in just six hours! That gives a whole new meaning to "global warming."


These Stars Need You

Here's a star-buying scheme we can support.


Exoplanets Dance in the Same Plane

Three planets orbit the red dwarf star Gliese 876, and at least two of them do so in nearly the same plane, according to an ingenious new study of their interaction.

Stellar Science

Fast-Forming Planets

Around newborn stars, Jupiters seem to grow quicker than expected.


Have a Hot Time on WASP-12b

An international team of observers has found an alien world where the temperature is always a toasty 4,600°F and it takes just a second or two to get a great suntan.


A Distant World in Hot Water

Astronomers report that a planet circling a star 63 light-years away in Vulpecula is wreathed in an atmosphere containing water vapor.


Another Direct Exoplanet Image

A tiny, glowing dot apparently orbits just inside the inner edge of the dusty debris disk surrounding the star Beta Pictoris, 64 light-years away.


First True Exoplanet Images…Probably

Although questions remain, it appears that astronomers have at last taken images of actual planets orbiting other stars.

Science and Space Policy

Exoplanet Search Strategies

What will be the best ways to discover extrasolar planets in the coming years? The best scientific payoffs demand smart planning now.

Solar System

Our "Goldilocks" Solar System

Think our planetary family is normal? Think again. It turns out that the Sun and its retinue formed when the interstellar mix was just right — not too much gas, not too little, and stirred gently for just the right amount of time.


Are Jupiters Hard to Come By?

A recent survey of stars in the Orion Nebula Cluster reveals that less than 10% of stars there have enough material in their surrounding disks to form Jupiter-sized planets.


Signs Found of Many “Super-Earths”

Jupiter-like exoplanets are outnumbered by smaller planets three to one, say astronomers describing their cutting-edge work in progress.


A Raft of New Planets in Silhouette

The SuperWASP project finds 10 new extrasolar planets crossing the faces of their stars.


Dust in a Hot Jupiter's Atmosphere

Precise measures by Hubble indicate that a roasting "hot Jupiter" close to its star has an atmosphere thick with dust.