Planet Current Events

Planet Current Events, Planet News Articles.
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How to weigh a star using a moon
How do astronomers weigh a star that's trillions of miles away and way too big to fit on a bathroom scale? In most cases they can't, although they can get a best estimate using computer models of stellar structure. New work by astrophysicist David Kipping says that in special cases, we can weigh a star directly. (2010-10-15)

'Habitable' planet GJ 581d previously dismissed as noise probably does exist
A report published in Science has dismissed claims made last year that the first super-Earth planet discovered in the habitable zone of a distant star was 'stellar activity masquerading as planets.' The researchers are confident the planet named GJ 581d, identified in 2009 orbiting the star Gliese 581, does exist, and that last year's claim was triggered by inadequate analysis of the data. (2015-03-05)

Astronomers find 2 large planets, plus possible super-Earth-size one
A team of three University of Florida astronomers contributed to the Kepler spacecraft's discovery of two Saturn-sized planets, plus a possible third planet with a radius just one-and-a-half times that of Earth, orbiting a distant star. (2010-08-26)

New exoplanet too big for its star
The Australian discovery of a strange exoplanet orbiting very close to a small cool star 500 light years away is challenging ideas about how planets form. (2015-05-01)

Saturn's rings cast shadows, affect the planet's ionosphere
Data collected by the Cassini spacecraft, before it was deliberately crashed into Saturn's atmosphere in September 2017, show that the planet's illustrious rings are casting a shadow in ionized particles over the planet. (2017-12-11)

Unusual planet within a triple star system imaged
Astronomers have directly detected a planet in a triple star system using imaging techniques. (2016-07-07)

Yale finds a planet that won't stick to a schedule
For their latest discovery, Yale astronomers and the Planet Hunters program have found a low-mass, low-density planet with a punctuality problem. The new planet, called PH3c, is located 2,300 light years from Earth and has an atmosphere loaded with hydrogen and helium. It is described in the Oct. 29 online edition of The Astrophysical Journal. (2014-10-30)

Planet Nine could spell doom for solar system
The solar system could be thrown into disaster when the sun dies if the mysterious 'Planet Nine' exists, according to research from the University of Warwick. (2016-08-30)

Breakthrough for The Planet
Today, February 17, the Web site The Planet Infact was launched in English. The Planet -- a science portal, a TV series on prime time and a movie -- turned out to be one of the most successful Swedish campaigns ever in communicating global change issues. (2007-02-17)

Wobbly planets could reveal Earth-like moons
Moons outside our solar system with the potential to support life have just become much easier to detect, thanks to research by an astronomer at University College London. (2008-12-11)

Measurements of Saturn's gravitational field show its rings are younger than the planet
Using data from the Cassini spacecraft's final orbits, scientists report new measurements of the gravitational field around Saturn and its rings, which allowed them to constrain its internal structure, the depth of its winds, and the mass and age of its rings. (2019-01-17)

Two New Moons Of Uranus Discovered
A team of scientists led by a University of Toronto astronomer has discovered two distant moons orbiting around the planet Uranus. (1997-10-31)

Physicists confirm first planet discovered in a quadruple star system
Justin Crepp, assistant professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, provided the high-contrast imaging observations that confirmed the first extrasolar planet discovered in a quadruple star system. (2012-10-30)

Discovery reveals planet almost as hot as the Sun
An international team of scientists, including Justin R. Crepp, Freimann Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Notre Dame, say the planet is 2.8 times bigger than Jupiter and reaches temperatures over 7,800 degrees Fahrenheit (4,600 Kelvin) during the day. (2017-06-05)

Plan to identify watery Earth-like planets develops
Astronomers are looking to identify Earth-like watery worlds circling distant stars from a glint of light seen through an optical space telescope and a mathematical method developed by researchers at Penn State and the University of Hawaii. (2008-04-24)

Massive exoplanet orbiting tiny star challenges planet formation theory
Astronomers have discovered a giant Jupiter-like exoplanet in an unlikely location -- orbiting a small red dwarf star. (2019-09-26)

Astronomers discover Earth's bigger cousin
Today an international team of astronomers from NASA's Kepler mission have announced the discovery of a near-Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star. Dr. Daniel Huber from the University of Sydney's School of Physics is part of the team which made the discovery with NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. (2015-07-23)

Mars is emerging from an ice age
Radar measurements of Mars' polar ice caps reveal that the mostly dry, dusty planet is emerging from an ice age, following multiple rounds of climate change. (2016-05-26)

Newly discovered planet may have water on its surface
A team of astronomers that includes the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Nader Haghighipour has announced the discovery of a planet that could have liquid water on its surface. (2010-09-30)

The Red Planet is severely gassed out
New measurements of Mars' thin atmosphere show that most of it has been lost to space due to bombardment from solar wind; this was the likely driver of the transition in Martian climate from an early, warm, wet environment to today's cold, dry, thin atmosphere. (2017-03-30)

New rocky planet found in constellation Leo
Spanish and UCL scientists have discovered a possible terrestrial-type planet orbiting a star in the constellation of Leo. The new planet, which lies at a distance of 30 light years from the Earth, has a mass five times that of our planet but is the smallest found to date. One full day on the new planet would be equivalent to three weeks on Earth. (2008-04-09)

First ground-based detection of light from transiting exoplanets
This week, Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing the first ground-based detections of thermal emission from transiting exoplanets. Up to now, detections of this kind have only been made from space. Two independent teams are now presenting detections with ground-based telescopes of the thermal emission from transiting hot Jupiters. (2009-01-14)

NASA researcher finds planet-sized space weather explosions at Venus
Researchers recently discovered that a common space weather phenomenon on the outskirts of Earth's magnetic bubble, the magnetosphere, has much larger repercussions for Venus. The giant explosions, called hot flow anomalies, can be so large at Venus that they're bigger than the entire planet and they can happen multiple times a day. (2014-02-20)

Students discover unique planet
Three undergraduate students, from Leiden University in the Netherlands, have discovered an extrasolar planet. The extraordinary find, which turned up during their research project, is about five times as massive as Jupiter. This is also the first planet discovered orbiting a fast-rotating hot star. (2008-12-04)

COROT discovers smallest exoplanet yet, with a surface to walk on
COROT has found the smallest terrestrial planet ever detected outside the Solar System. The amazing planet is less than twice the size of Earth and orbits a Sun-like star. Its temperature is so high that it is possibly covered in lava or water vapor. (2009-02-03)

Safety zone saves giant moons from fatal plunge
Numerical simulations showed that the temperature gradient in the disk of gas around a young gas giant planet could play a critical role in the development of a satellite system dominated by a single large moon, similar to Titan around Saturn. Researchers found that dust in the circumplanetary disk can create a 'safety zone,' which keeps the moon from falling into the planet as the system evolves. (2020-03-09)

Planet Nine: A world that shouldn't exist
Earlier this year scientists presented evidence for Planet Nine, a Neptune-mass planet in an elliptical orbit 10 times farther from our Sun than Pluto. Since then theorists have puzzled over how this planet could end up in such a distant orbit. New research by astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics examines a number of scenarios and finds that most of them have low probabilities. Therefore, the presence of Planet Nine remains a bit of a mystery. (2016-05-03)

Is there a second planet orbiting the nearest star to the sun?
An analysis of cyclical changes in the light spectrum emitted by Proxima Centauri, the star closest to the Sun, suggests it may be orbited by a second planet. Mario Damasso and colleagues present data suggesting that this candidate planet orbits Proxima Centauri every 5.2 years and may be a 'super-Earth,' with a mass higher than Earth's, though much lower than that. (2020-01-15)

Finding a planet with a 10 years orbit in a few months
To discover the presence of a planet around stars, astronomers wait until it has completed three orbits. However, this effective technique has its drawbacks since it cannot confirm the presence of planets at relatively long periods. To overcome this obstacle, astronomers under the direction of UNIGE have developed a method that makes it possible to ensure the presence of a planet in a few months, even if it takes 10 years to circle its star. (2018-07-18)

Search for extraterrestrial life more difficult than thought
A new study from the University of Toronto Scarborough suggests the search for life on planets outside our solar system may be more difficult than previously thought. The study, authored by a team of international researchers led by UTSC assistant professor Hanno Rein from the Department of Physical and Environmental Science, finds the method used to detect biosignatures on such planets, known as exoplanets, can produce a false positive result. (2014-04-29)

Laser experiments lend insight into metal core at heart of the Earth
Experiments replicating conditions at the core of the Earth could help scientists understand how the planet and its atmosphere were formed. (2018-07-06)

UEA research shows oceans vital for possibility for alien life
Researchers at the University of East Anglia have made an important step in the race to discover whether other planets could develop and sustain life. New research published today in the journal Astrobiology shows the vital role of oceans in moderating climate on Earth-like planets. Until now, computer simulations of habitable climates on Earth-like planets have focused on their atmospheres. But the presence of oceans is vital for optimal climate stability and habitability. (2014-07-20)

Jupiter's moons create uniquely patterned aurora on the gas giant planet
New images from the Juno spacecraft show an unusual 'footprint' of Jupiter's moons on their parent planet's aurora. (2018-07-05)

MESSENGER reveals Mercury's magnetic field secrets
New data from MESSENGER, the spacecraft that orbited Mercury for four years before crashing into the planet a week ago, reveals Mercury's magnetic field is almost four billion years old. (2015-05-07)

Winds of rubies and sapphires strike the sky of giant planet
Signs of powerful changing winds have been detected on a planet 16 times larger than Earth, over 1,000 light years away -- the first time ever that weather systems have been found on a gas giant outside our solar system -- according to new research by the University of Warwick. (2016-12-12)

Latest insights into Saturn's weird magnetic field only make things weirder
Some of the last data from the Cassini mission reveals more structure in Saturn's magnetic field, but still no answer as to how it formed. (2018-10-04)

Martian water vapor varies with the seasons
The potential for Mars' water to be lost into space is greater during the planet's warm and stormy seasons, according to a new study. (2020-01-09)

Curious tilt of the sun traced to undiscovered planet
'Planet Nine,' which may lurk beyond Neptune, may be the reason that the solar system's planets orbit at a six-degree angle with respect to the sun. (2016-10-19)

Exoplanet climate 'decoder' aids search for life
After examining a dozen types of suns and a roster of planet surfaces, Cornell University astronomers have developed a practical model - an environmental color ''decoder'' - to tease out climate clues for potentially habitable exoplanets in galaxies far away. (2020-05-18)

Star blasts planet with X-rays
A nearby star is pummeling a companion planet with a barrage of X-rays a hundred thousand times more intense than the Earth receives from the Sun. New data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope suggest that high-energy radiation is evaporating about 5 million tons of matter from the planet every second. This result gives insight into the difficult survival path for some planets. (2011-09-13)

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