And...it’s literally six seconds of pixelated blob. But before you laugh, know this: Capturing that planetary transit you just witnessed was no easy task. »
If a massive comet struck the Earth, the oceans would boil and the air would catch fire (don’t worry, this isn’t about to happen). But to alien astronomers studying our planet from afar, humanity’s brutal demise would look like nothing more than a faint flicker of light. If we could detect such impacts on distant… »
Naming a planet used to be an honor reserved for the astronomer who discovered it, but these days, we’re finding too many to keep up. Now, the International Astronomical Union has opened the sacred process up to the internet, bless their brave souls. »
Behold the lightest planet ever imaged by a telescope: an extremely young, Jovian-like planet that’s twice the size of Jupiter. Astronomers detected it through visible light, which is an extraordinary feat for a planet of this nature.
NASA’s Kepler Space telescope science team has just announced the discovery of the most Earth-like planet ever. Meet Kepler 452-b, the very first apparently rocky planet that orbits a sun-like star in the habitable zone. »
An international team of astronomers has detected a planet very similar to Jupiter orbiting at the same distance from a Sun-like star. And because the age and chemical composition of this system is similar to our own, it likely features an inner collection of rocky planets. Call it solar system 2.0. »
In studying our Solar System over the course of many centuries, astronomers learned a great deal about the types of planets that exist in our universe. This knowledge has since expanded thanks to the discovery of extrasolar planets, many of which are similar to what we have observed here at home. »
Black Knight is an impossibly black exoplanet, a planet closer to its star than Mercury is to ours and blacker than coal. Today, it passes in front of its sun, and you can watch the transit with astronomers using the world’s largest infrared telescope. »
For the first time ever, astronomers have measured the size and mass of an exoplanet smaller than Earth. »
We hear about discoveries of exoplanets every day. So how long will it take us to find another planet like Earth?
Life on WASP-33b would basically be hell—the titanic exoplanet’s atmosphere ranges in temperature from a searing 6,000 to a comparatively balmy 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. But hey, at least you wouldn’t have to bring sunblock. »
Twenty years ago, discovering another Earth sounded like a science fictional dream. But within a generation, astronomers now believe we might do just that. »
SimEarth was right about one thing. The best way to wet up a planet? Hurl a bunch of icy asteroids at it. »
It may be a terrestrial planet, but the changing atmospheric conditions on the so-called “Diamond Planet” are absolutely nothing like what we experience here on Earth. »
The International Astronomical Union has designated 20 celestial objects for public naming. The contest, called NameExoWorld, is the first opportunity for the public to give names to numbered stars and their planets. Learn more about the 20 objects here and submit your proposed names. The deadline is June 1, after… »
The first exoplanet ever discovered is now the first exoplanet ever observed in visible light. 51 Pegasi B, a super Jupiter located about 50 light-years from Earth, was detected by comparing the light bouncing off its highly reflective surface to the spectral signature of its host star. It’s hoped the new technique… »