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Variable Stars

Invite Ross 128 Over This Thanksgiving

With exoplanet Ross 128b in the news, we pay a visit to the star that sustains this potentially habitable exoplanet.

WASP-12b

Exoplanets

Puffed-Up Hot Jupiter Is Surprisingly Dark

Researchers have found that a football-shaped, ultra-hot gas giant that’s being devoured by its host star is also one of the least reflective exoplanets ever found.

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.

Exoplanet-hunting TESS spacecraft

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Looking Ahead: Space Exploration in 2017

An exciting year lies ahead for spaceflight involving astronomy and planetary science — by NASA and by other spacefaring nations.

planet in triple-star system

Exoplanets

Exoplanet Found in Triple Star System

Astronomers have retracted the discovery of a giant planet with an exceptionally wide orbit in a young system of three suns.

Artist rendering of 42 Draconis

Stellar Science

New Star and Exoplanet Names OK'd by IAU

Following a wildly popular contest, the International Astronomical Union has named 14 stars and 31 planets that orbit them.

habitable zone of GJ 581

Exoplanets

The Planet That is No More

A new analysis confirms that an exoplanet thought to orbit in the habitable zone of the star Gliese 581 actually doesn’t exist.

Exoplanets

Exoplanet Portraits: A Tale of New Instruments

Exoplanet missions are shifting their goals from counting to characterizing, with multiple instruments coming online to directly image these alien worlds.

Exoplanets

Three Exoplanet Molds: Metals Matter

Data from NASA's Kepler space telescope point to three distinct molds of exoplanets — rocky worlds, gas dwarfs, and ice/gas giants — distinguishable based on the abundances of heavy elements in their host star’s atmosphere.

Exoplanets

Exoplanet Out for a Quick Spin

Astronomers have used a new technique to measure — for the first time — the spin of an extrasolar planet.

Exoplanets

Planets’ Wacky Orbits Solved

By combining nearly 1,500 observations with sophisticated computer models, astronomers have shed light on a nearby planetary system, proving that the planets' bizarre orbits will actually remain stable for the next 100 million years.

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