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Artist's concept shows blue-streaked surface of a massive solid planet

Exoplanets

How Did Two Hot and Super-dense Neptunes Form?

Astronomers have discovered two Neptune-size planets that are denser than rock and in searingly close orbits to their star. How did these odd worlds form?

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.

Artist's illo of airless TRAPPIST-1c and red dwarf star host in background

Exoplanets

Exoplanet News: No Air on Venus Twin, Young Jupiter Discovery

Astronomers have discovered Jupiter's younger sibling in a system 88 light-years away. Meanwhile, only 40 light-years away, a Venus-size world turns out to be airless (or nearly so).

Habitable-zone planet that looks much like Earth (art)

Astrobiology

Where to Look for Life: Homing in on the Habitable Zone

Scientists are refining the definition of the habitable zone in an effort to aid future efforts at finding life.

Giant planets around a small, red-colored star

Exoplanets

Giant Planets Around Small Stars

Leading theories say giant planets shouldn’t be able to form around very low-mass stars. But a new study finds that, nevertheless, they do.

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.

Exoplanets

New Planets in the Neighborhood

A planet-hunting consortium is marking five successful years by releasing data on more than 50 worlds.

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.

Illustration of a planet and its star on a black background. The planet is large, in the foreground at the centre, and the star is smaller, in the background and also at the centre. The planet is rocky. The top quarter of the planet (the side facing the star) is lit, while the rest is in shadow. The star is bright yellowish-white, with no clear features.

Exoplanets

Webb Telescope Confirms Earth-size Exoplanet, Tries to Sniff Its Air

The James Webb Space Telescope has confirmed its first exoplanet, a rocky Earth-size planet, and attempted to take the measure of its atmosphere.

WASP-39b artist's illustration

Exoplanets

Webb Telescope Surveys a Hot Saturn

A collection of five research studies delve into the atmosphere of exoplanet WASP-39b as astronomers seek to better understand the chemistry of a world beyond the solar system.

White dwarf surrounded by debris disk (art)

Exoplanets

Ancient White Dwarf Hosts Planetary Graveyard

Scientists have discovered one of the oldest planetary graveyards in the Milky Way: a cool white dwarf "polluted" with rocky debris.

an illustration of a flaring red dwarf, with a disk of gas and dust containing an earth-like exoplanet.

Exoplanets

Shields Up: Red Dwarf Worlds Might Adapt to Hostile Systems

Worlds around red dwarf stars might build an ozone "shield" in response to stellar flares.

Artist's illustration of a baby planet

Exoplanets

Breadcrumbs Lead to Baby Planet

New radio images reveal evidence for a planet forming around the Sun-like star LkCa 15.

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.

NGC 628 looks like a giant blue-gold maelstrom with a blue middle

Solar System

Webb Reveals Jupiter, Puffy Planet, and Galactic Maelstroms in a New Light

Round out your week with these stunning views of the universe from the James Webb Space telescope.

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.

Earth, reDSCOVRed

Exoplanets

How to Image an Exoplanet with Just a Few Pixels

Using Earth as an example, astronomers are testing a new technique that could image rocky exoplanets without resolving them.

a white planet with orange and green strip against a black background

Exoplanets

First Look at an Unusual Exoplanet’s Atmosphere

AAS Nova reports on a "super-puff" exoplanet that's nearly 15 times less dense than Jupiter.

Proxima d

Exoplanets

New Planet Discovered Around Proxima Centauri, Star Nearest the Sun

A new instrument on a powerful telescope has enabled astronomers to discover another planet around our nearest stellar neighbor.

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.