Tag Archives: exoplanets

Kepler-1625b I: The First Exomoon…Maybe

So, the big science news of the day is the potential discovery of the first known “exomoon”—that is, a moon orbiting an extrasolar planet. (Scientific paper here.) Scientists have been looking for such moons for years, only to turn up … Continue reading

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Day 2 at the #AAS230: Warm Jupiters, Human Spaceflight, and Other Stories

Artist’s rendition of the mysterious Planet Nine. The second day of the AAS Conference has concluded with still more fascinating tales from the world of astronomy. We begin with the tale of the Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which concluded … Continue reading

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NASA Discovers the First “Earth-Like” Planet for the Third Time

There’s been buzz in the news about the latest planet discovered by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, Kepler-452b. It’s being hailed as a major discovery. It’s the first ever Earth-sized planet found in the habitable zone of a…boy, this sounds familiar, … Continue reading

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NASA finds an ice-cold planet right next door

You may have heard about the recent discovery of an ice cold “brown dwarf” or “star” right next door in our Solar Neighborhood. The object, which goes by the telephone number* WISE J085510.83-071442.5, is only 7.2 light-years from our Solar … Continue reading

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The planet that thinks it’s a comet

With all the talk of comets lately, let’s take a look at what happens when planets start acting like them. But surely, no planet could have a crazy, elongated orbit like a comet, right? They’re too big to get kicked … Continue reading

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Planets of failed stars

A brown dwarf is a failed star. It’s about the size of Jupiter, but anywhere from 13 to 80 times as massive. It is too small to shine by burning hydrogen, like a star, but it is massive enough to … Continue reading

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Dark planet

A mirror is supposed to reflect back all of the light that hits it, but, being made of atoms, mirrors are not perfect. They typically only reflect about 95% of the light that hits them. Fresh-fallen snow also reflects a … Continue reading

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