This Star Is Surrounded By Swarms Of Pluto-Like Objects

Astronomers have captured a remarkable image of a young star surrounded by a deep layer of dust — a layer that's thicker on the outside than it is on the inside, suggesting the presence of an entire family of Pluto-like objects. » 12/12/14 7:20am 12/12/14 7:20am

It's going to be harder to find habitable Earth-like worlds than we thought. An analysis of three hot Jupiters yielded only 1/10 to 1/1000 the amount of water predicted by models. This means our planetary formation theories are incomplete — and that we should expect to see lower water abundances on potentially… » 7/25/14 11:40am 7/25/14 11:40am

New Evidence Reveals What a "Typical" Solar System Looks Like

Prior to the discovery of exoplanets, astronomers assumed that our solar system's configuration was typical. But now, some 1,715 exoplanets later, we know that we're far from ordinary. So what passes for "normal" in the annals of solar systems? Here's what we know now. » 4/28/14 12:00pm 4/28/14 12:00pm

Astronomers may have just discovered a new class of planets

Located nearly 500 light-years away, ROXs 42Bb is a newly discovered object that astronomers are struggling to define — a unique celestial body that's challenging conventional notions about how planets and stars form. » 1/09/14 2:40pm 1/09/14 2:40pm

The Moon is Younger Than We Thought

The violent history of the Earth's Moon just gave rise to a new mystery. At a Royal Society special meeting today, planetary scientist Rick Carlson announced that the Moon is a few hundred million years younger than we thought. This could change our understanding of how the Earth formed, too. » 9/23/13 12:20pm 9/23/13 12:20pm

Why did all the planet-forming dust around this star disappear in only…

Back in 1983, astronomers discovered a star 450 light-years away that was surrounded by a cloud of dust — a textbook example of a solar system in the making. Now, nearly thirty years later, the cloud has suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. » 7/05/12 4:00pm 7/05/12 4:00pm

How Uranus got knocked on its side

Uranus is unique among all the planets of the solar system because it essentially orbits on its side, with its axis tilted nearly perpendicular to the Sun. Now astronomers have finally solved the mystery of why Uranus looks so strange. » 10/06/11 5:17pm 10/06/11 5:17pm