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Artist's impression of Beta Pictoris

Exoplanets

Alignment of a Star and a Planet

Unlike in our solar system, not all planets orbit in the same direction as their stars rotate. A nearby planetary system may reveal how these orbits form.

Planet-forming disk

Milky Way

Close Encounters in the Milky Way — and What They Mean for Planets

New research shows stellar flybys are common in our galaxy’s crowded center. That could have both good and bad (but mostly bad) effects on growing planets.

Super-Earth Family Portrait

Exoplanets

Three Nearby Exoplanets to Explore

A trio of nearby exoplanets make tempting new targets for next-gen telescopes.

Hot Jupiter KPS-1b

Pro-Am Collaboration

First Discoveries of a Pro-Am Exoplanet Survey

A pair of professional and amateur astronomers have teamed up to fill an important niche in exoplanet research.

Artist's illustration of a possibly disintegrating planet

Exoplanets

Are We Watching a Planet Disintegrate?

Among the wealth of exoplanets we’ve discovered beyond our solar system, some are temperate, some less so. New observations have now revealed what may be a particularly inhospitable environment: a planet literally disintegrating as it orbits its host.

SPHERE image of AB Aurigae

Exoplanets

Astronomers Witness the Birth of Planets

Two new sets of observations show astronomers what planet formation looks like.

Exoplanets

Rescuing an Overlooked Planet

The Kepler False Positive Working Group has identified an Earth sized planet in the habitable zone of a M-dwarf star that was marked as a false positive.

Asteroid collision

Exoplanets

Fomalhaut b: Exoplanet or Puff of Dust?

Is Fomalhaut b “the planet that never was”? Astronomers continue to contest the nature of this directly imaged object around a nearby star.

Star with two suns

Exoplanets

How Amateurs Could Help Future Exoplanet Observations

Large observatories will require precise timing info to measure as many exoplanet atmospheres as possible. Backyard astronomers have the power to keep that intel fresh.

Iron rain on ultra-hot planet

Exoplanets

Iron Might Rain on This Hot Jupiter

New observations show a signature that could come from iron rain on one side of hot Jupiter WASP-76b.

Globular cluster NGC 4147

Exoplanets

60-Second Astro News: Planets in Tight Quarters & Kuiper Belt Forays

Astronomers have calculated the loss of planets around stars in globular clusters, and New Horizons returns observations of worlds in the outer solar system.

Proxima Centauri c

Exoplanets

Astronomers Discover Second Planet in Nearest Star System

Astronomers have announced the discovery of Proxima Centauri c, an inhospitable super-Earth just 4.3 light-years away.

Star with two suns

Exoplanets

NASA's TESS Introduces Us to Our Planetary Neighbors

NASA's TESS mission announces the results from its first year of exoplanet-hunting in the southern sky, introducing us to some of our planetary neighbors.

Debris ring around a white dwarf star

Exoplanets

How a White Dwarf Is Vaporizing Its Giant Planet

Astronomers have long suspected that white dwarfs eat their planetary companions. Now, indirect observations show the process in action.

LHS 1140 b

Exoplanets

New Method May Expedite Search for Exoplanets with Atmospheres

A team of astronomers propose screening exoplanets by their temperatures to determine whether they host an atmosphere — and are worth following up.

microlensing diagram

Exoplanets

Observations Confirm Lensing Planet Discovered by Amateur

Follow-up observations of an amateur-discovered exoplanet show that the planet orbits its star at the snow line, where ice giants may form.

Colliding exoplanets (artist's concept)

Exoplanets

Astronomers Monitor Exoplanet-Scale Collision

New infrared observations probe a system that underwent a planetary-scale collision tens of thousands of years ago.

Exoplanets

Two Eyes to Hunt Stray Planet Masses

How can we measure the masses of free-floating planets wandering around our galaxy? A new study identifies one approach that combines the power of two upcoming missions.

Exoplanets

Milestone: Astronomers Discover Water Vapor on a Super-Earth

Two independent teams of astronomers have discovered the signature of water vapor in the atmosphere of super-Earth K2-18b.

hot Jupiter WASP-121b

Exoplanets

Planet WASP-12b Might Be on a Death Spiral into its Parent Star

A mere 3 million years from now — a cosmic eye-blink away — the star WASP 12 might consume its exoplanet WASP-12b.

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