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Your search has returned 108 articles:
  • News in Brief

    The TESS space telescope has spotted its first exoplanet

    The next exoplanet hunt is officially on. NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which launched in April (SN: 5/12/18, p. 7), has taken its first wide-sky science image and has confirmed its first exoplanet.

    The “first light” image (the moniker for a new telescope’s first useful image), taken August 7 with all four of the telescope’s cameras and released September 17, shows...

    09/18/2018 - 17:23 Exoplanets
  • News

    Astronomers saw the first mass eruption from a star that’s not the sun

    BOSTON — For the first time, a stellar eruption called a coronal mass ejection has been spotted fleeing a distant star.

    Such outbursts of plasma and charged particles are well-known on the sun, and commonly follow a burst of light called a solar flare (SN Online: 4/17/15). Astronomers had detected flares on other stars, but never a corresponding coronal mass ejection, or CME, until now....

    08/07/2018 - 09:00 Astronomy, Exoplanets
  • News

    Next to its solar twins, the sun stands out

    BOSTON — Many sunlike stars are eerie clones, but ours is an individual. A study of solar twins reveals that the sun’s chemical makeup is surprisingly different from that of its nearby peers, while those stars are almost identical to one another. Since a star and its planets are made from the same materials, that may mean the exoplanets orbiting those stars come in just a few flavors. It also...

    08/03/2018 - 12:00 Astronomy, Exoplanets
  • News in Brief

    Astronomers snap the first baby pictures of a planet

    Behold, the sharpest view yet of a planet-in-progress.

    New infrared telescope observations reveal an exoplanet that appears to be growing inside the disk of gas and dust around a star about 370 light-years away. Astronomers have indirectly identified other exoplanet embryos by observing the paths that these young worlds cleared through the dusty disks around their parent stars (SN Online...

    07/02/2018 - 15:24 Exoplanets, Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News in Brief

    Swirling gases reveal baby planets in a young star’s disk

    Baby planets growing in a disk of gas and dust around an infant star have been identified and weighed for the first time. In papers published June 13 in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, two teams of astronomers describe a new technique to observe the newborn planets with unprecedented precision.

    One team, led by Richard Teague of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, found two...

    06/14/2018 - 11:00 Exoplanets, Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    Take a virtual trip to an alien world

    If you’re looking for starry skies, exotic plant life and extreme weather on your summer vacation, NASA’s Exoplanet Travel Bureau has just the spot. Consider a trip to Kepler 186f.

    This extrasolar planet is nearly 558 light-years away, so a real trip may be out of your budget — and astronomers aren’t sure if the sphere even has a life-sustaining atmosphere. But NASA’s Exoplanet...

    06/04/2018 - 10:00 Exoplanets, Astronomy
  • Feature

    The recipes for solar system formation are getting a rewrite

    With a mortar and pestle, Christy Till blends together the makings of a distant planet. In her geology lab at Arizona State University in Tempe, Till carefully measures out powdered minerals, tips them into a metal capsule and bakes them in a high-pressure furnace that can reach close to 35,000 times Earth’s atmospheric pressure and 2,000° Celsius.

    In this interplanetary test kitchen,...

    05/11/2018 - 09:00 Exoplanets, Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    NASA’s TESS spacecraft launches to begin its exoplanet search

    After a two-day delay, the planet-hunting TESS telescope successfully launched into a clear blue sky at Cape Canaveral, Fla., at 6:51 p.m. EDT on April 18.

    TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is headed to an orbit between the Earth and the moon, a journey that will take about two months. In its first two years, the telescope will seek planets orbiting 200,000 nearby, bright...

    04/18/2018 - 19:36 Exoplanets
  • News

    With the launch of TESS, NASA will boost its search for exoplanets

    NASA is stepping up its search for planets outside our solar system. Its next exoplanet hunting telescope, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is due to launch from Cape Canaveral on the evening of April 16.

    Following the Kepler space telescope’s discovery of more than 5,000 possible exoplanets since 2009, TESS will continue the galactic census — flagging more planetary...

    04/12/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Exoplanets
  • News in Brief

    We probably won’t hear from aliens. But by the time we do, they’ll be dead.

    If signals from an alien civilization ever reach Earth, odds are the aliens will already be dead.

    In an effort to update the 1961 Drake Equation, which estimates the number of detectable, intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way, physicist Claudio Grimaldi and colleagues calculated the area of the galaxy that should be filled with alien signals at a given time (SN Online: 11/1/09)....

    03/12/2018 - 12:00 Astronomy, Astrobiology, Exoplanets