Extrasolar Planets

Extrasolar Planets News -- ScienceDaily Extrasolar Planet News. Astronomers discover extrasolar planets in a nearby star system. Could extrasolar planets support life? Images, full-text articles. Free.

  • Scientists discover almost 100 new exoplanets
    on February 15, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Based on data from NASA's K2 mission an international team of scientists have just confirmed nearly 100 new exoplanets, planets located outside our solar system. This brings the total number of new exoplanets found with the K2 mission up to almost 300. […]

  • Rocky or gassy? Massive, dense super-Earth planet detected
    on February 8, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    A star about 100 light years away in the Pisces constellation, GJ 9827, hosts what may be one of the most massive and dense super-Earth planets detected to date, according to new research. This new information provides evidence to help astronomers better understand the process by which such planets form. […]

  • TRAPPIST-1 planets probably rich in water
    on February 5, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    A new study has found that planets orbiting the star TRAPPIST-1 are made mostly of rock, and some could hold more water than Earth. The planets' densities suggest that some of them could have up to 5 percent of their mass in the form of water. The hotter planets closest to their parent star are likely to have dense steamy atmospheres and the more distant ones probably have icy surfaces. […]

  • Atmospheres of exoplanets in TRAPPIST-1 habitable zone probed
    on February 5, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have conducted the first spectroscopic survey of the Earth-sized planets within the habitable zone around the nearby star TRAPPIST-1. Hubble reveals that at least three of the exoplanets (d, e, and f) do not seem to contain puffy, hydrogen-rich atmospheres similar to gaseous planets such as Neptune. The results, instead, favor more compact atmospheres like those of Earth, Venus, and Mars. […]

  • A new 'atmospheric disequilibrium' could help detect life on other planets
    on January 24, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    A new study has found a simple approach to look for life that might be more promising than just looking for oxygen. […]

  • New limit on the definition of a planet proposed
    on January 23, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    A planet can be no bigger than about 10 times the size of Jupiter, an astrophysicist has calculated. […]

  • A 'hot Jupiter' with unusual winds
    on January 22, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    The hottest point on a gaseous planet near a distant star isn't where astrophysicists expected it to be -- a discovery that challenges scientists' understanding of the many planets of this type found in solar systems outside our own. […]

  • No planets needed for rings around stars: Disk patterns can self-generate
    on January 11, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    A new study shows rings, arcs and spirals in disks around stars may not be caused by planets. They may self-generate. […]

  • Brown dwarfs found sprinkled among newborn stars in Orion Nebula
    on January 11, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Astronomers have uncovered the largest known population of brown dwarfs sprinkled among newborn stars in the Orion Nebula. […]

  • Citizen scientists discover five-planet system
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    In its search for exoplanets -- planets outside of our solar system -- NASA's Kepler telescope trails behind Earth, measuring the brightness of stars that may potentially host planets. The instrument identifies potential planets around other stars by looking for dips in the brightness of the stars that occur when planets cross in front of, or transit, them. Typically, computer programs flag the stars with these brightness dips, then astronomers look at each one and decide whether or not they truly could host a planet candidate. […]

  • Planets around other stars are like peas in a pod
    on January 9, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    A study of 909 planets and 355 stars reveals that, unlike our solar system, other planetary systems are distinguished by strict regularity. […]

  • NASA's Webb Telescope to investigate mysterious brown dwarfs
    on January 4, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Astronomers are hopeful that the powerful infrared capability of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will resolve a puzzle as fundamental as stargazing itself -- what IS that dim light in the sky? Brown dwarfs muddy a clear distinction between stars and planets, throwing established understanding of those bodies, and theories of their formation, into question. […]

  • Tabby's Star: Alien megastructure not the cause of dimming of the 'most mysterious star in the...
    on January 3, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Scientists are one step closer to solving the mystery behind the 'most mysterious star in the universe.' […]

  • Star in the constellation Pisces is 'eating' planets
    on December 21, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Astronomers have discovered that a distant star called RZ Picseum in the constellation Pisces is crushing one or more planets into its orbit into a vast cloud of gas and dust. […]

  • Orbital mayhem around a red dwarf
    on December 18, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    In the collective imagination, planets of a solar system all circle around their star, in the equatorial plane of the star. The star also spins, and its spin axis is aligned with the spin axes of the planetary orbits, giving the impression of a well-ordered system. But nature is capricious, as astronomers just found out: they detected a planetary system turned upside down. […]

  • New approach for detecting planets in the Alpha Centauri system
    on December 18, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Astronomers have taken a fresh look at the nearby Alpha Centauri star system and found new ways to narrow the search for habitable planets there. According to a study, there may be small, Earth-like planets in Alpha Centauri that have been overlooked. Meanwhile, the study ruled out the existence of a number of larger planets in the system. […]

  • Better way to weigh millions of solitary stars
    on December 14, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Astronomers have come up with a new and improved method for measuring the masses of millions of solitary stars, especially those with planetary systems. […]

  • Artificial intelligence, NASA data used to discover eighth planet circling distant star
    on December 14, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Our solar system now is tied for most number of planets around a single star, with the recent discovery of an eighth planet circling Kepler-90, a Sun-like star 2,545 light years from Earth. The planet was discovered in data from NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. […]

  • Spanning disciplines in the search for life beyond Earth
    on December 13, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Following a gold rush of exoplanet discovery, the next step in the search for life is determining which of the known exoplanets are proper candidates for life -- and for this, a cross-disciplinary approach is essential. […]

  • Mars mission sheds light on habitability of distant planets
    on December 13, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Insights from NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, mission about the loss of the Red Planet's atmosphere can help scientists understand the habitability of rocky planets orbiting other stars. […]

  • Two Super-Earths around red dwarf K2-18
    on December 5, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    New research has revealed that a little-known exoplanet called K2-18b could well be a scaled-up version of Earth. Just as exciting, the same researchers also discovered for the first time that the planet has a neighbor. […]

  • WASP-18b has smothering stratosphere without water
    on December 5, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Scientists have found evidence that the oversized planet WASP-18b is wrapped in a smothering stratosphere loaded with carbon monoxide and devoid of water. […]

  • New spin to solving mystery of stellar companions
    on December 5, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Scientists are investigating the nature of planetary-mass bodies that orbit stars, finding new clues to their origins. […]

  • Blowing in the stellar wind: Scientists reduce the chances of life on exoplanets in so-called...
    on November 30, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    A new article describes the detrimental impact of stellar wind on the atmosphere of exoplanets. […]

  • Space dust may transport life between worlds, research suggests
    on November 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Life on Earth might have originated from tiny organisms brought to our planet in streams of fast-moving space dust, according to a new study. […]

  • Lava or not, exoplanet 55 Cancri e likely to have atmosphere
    on November 16, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Twice as big as Earth, the super-Earth 55 Cancri e was thought to have lava flows on its surface. Now, a new analysis finds this planet likely has an atmosphere whose ingredients could be similar to those of Earth's atmosphere, but thicker. […]

  • Closest temperate world orbiting quiet star discovered
    on November 15, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    A temperate Earth-sized planet has been discovered only 11 light-years from the solar system by a team using ESO's unique planet-hunting HARPS instrument. The new world has the designation Ross 128 b and is now the second-closest temperate planet to be detected after Proxima b. It is also the closest planet to be discovered orbiting an inactive red dwarf star, which may increase the likelihood that this planet could potentially sustain life. […]

  • Red giant star gives a surprising glimpse of the sun's future
    on November 7, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Astronomers have for the first time observed details on the surface of an aging star with the same mass as the sun. ALMA's images show that the star is a giant, its diameter twice the size of Earth's orbit around the sun, but also that the star's atmosphere is affected by powerful, unexpected shock waves. […]

  • Atmospheric beacons guide NASA scientists in search for life
    on November 2, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    New NASA research proposes a novel approach to sniffing out exoplanet atmospheres. It takes advantage of frequent stellar storms from cool, young dwarf stars to highlight signs of possible life. […]

  • Overlooked Treasure: The First Evidence of Exoplanets
    on November 1, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Mount Wilson is the site where some of the key discoveries about our galaxy and universe were made in the early 20th century. But there is a far lesser known, 100-year-old discovery from Mount Wilson -- one that was unidentified and unappreciated until recently: the first evidence of exoplanets. […]