a blue arc on top looms over an active, lumpy-looking star

Exoplanets

Hubble Reveals Possible Water-Vapor World

New Hubble Space Telescope observations reveal the warm sub-Neptune GJ 9827d might have a steamy atmosphere.

artist's impression of weird inflated planet

Exoplanets

Webb Telescope Peers into Puffy Planet with Clouds of Sand

A mere 200 light-years away, there's a planet with the density of styrofoam and clouds of sand. How did it get so weird?

Illustration of an exoplanet planet and its red cool dwarf star on a black background that is speckled with some small stars. The planet is large, in the foreground on the right and the star is smaller, in the background at the lower left. The planet is various shades of blue, with wisps of white scattered throughout. The left edge of the planet (the side facing the star) is lit, while the rest is in shadow. The star has a bright red glow

Exoplanets

Hubble, Webb Data Hint at Ocean Worlds

Data coming from the Webb and Hubble space telescopes suggests two exoplanets might be water worlds. But the evidence isn’t yet definitive.

Visualization of airless TRAPPIST-1b and its red dwarf star host

Exoplanets

Exoplanet TRAPPIST-1b Has No Atmosphere

The TRAPPIST exoplanets offer the James Webb Space Telescope some of the best opportunities to observe rocky worlds. But Webb images show the innermost planet b has no atmosphere.

Dark planet with translucent atmosphere in front of bright star

Exoplanets

JWST Investigates an Exoplanet "Corgi"

The James Webb Space Telescope has found the tiny tail of a close-in exoplanet that's losing its atmosphere.

Exoplanets

Webb's Exoplanet Data Are Almost Too Good

A new study urges caution in interpreting the chemical fingerprints that Webb is collecting of alien worlds.

Webb's first deep field

Professional Telescopes

What the James Webb Space Telescope's First Year Will Reveal

The James Webb Space Telescope's first year of observations promises to reveal exoplanet atmospheres and surfaces, infant galaxies, and maybe even the first black holes.

a large orange org against a brown background with clouds and a distant light

Exoplanets

Hot and Cold: Jupiters Reveal Formation and Chemistry of Exotic Worlds

At the extremes: A hot Jupiter reveals extreme chemistry on a sizzling world, and a cold Jupiter sheds light on giant planet formation.

a dark purple orb is half illuminated by a bright white, smaller orb to its left

Exoplanets

Astronomers Watch the Making of a Super-Earth

Gaseous mini-Neptunes may become rocky super-Earths when they lose their atmospheres. Now, astronomers have caught that process in action.

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.

Illustration of helium escaping exoplanet HAT-P-11b

Astronomy & Observing News

60-Second Astro News: Helium Exoplanets and a Supernova Surprise

This week in astronomy news: Inflated helium atmospheres surround two exoplanets, and the Kepler Space Telescope captures the moments around a supernova that hint at a companion star triggering the explosion.

Exoplanets

An Atmosphere of Heavy Metals

Researchers have found strong evidence of titanium oxide in the atmosphere of a hot giant planet, adding new insights to the complex motions of these planets’ extreme atmospheres.

Exoplanets

Do Atmospheres Spin Worlds to Habitability?

The best place to look for nearby Earth-size planets are around the smallest, coolest stars. New research shows that any exoplanets tightly circling their stars might have a better chance of being habitable than previously thought.

Exoplanets

Titan Sheds Light on Alien Atmospheres

Saturn’s largest moon Titan played a cameo as an exoplanet, allowing astronomers to better understand how a thick layer of haze or clouds might affect their observations of more distant alien worlds.