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.

  • First interstellar immigrant discovered in the solar system
    on May 21, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    A new study has discovered the first known permanent immigrant to our solar system. The asteroid, currently nestling in Jupiter's orbit, is the first known asteroid to have been captured from another star system. […]

  • NASA's new planet hunter snaps initial test image, swings by Moon toward final orbit
    on May 18, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    After launching April 18, TESS has completed its lunar flyby to put it on track for its final science orbit, and has released a first test image. […]

  • Orbital variations can trigger 'snowball' states in habitable zones around sunlike stars
    on May 15, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    Aspects of an otherwise Earthlike planet's tilt and orbital dynamics can severely affect its potential habitability -- even triggering abrupt 'snowball states' where oceans freeze and surface life is impossible, according to new research from astronomers. […]

  • Atmospheric seasons could signal alien life
    on May 9, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    To complement traditional biosignatures, scientists are developing the first quantitative framework for dynamic biosignatures based on seasonal changes in the Earth's atmosphere. […]

  • Astronomers find exoplanet atmosphere free of clouds
    on May 7, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Scientists have detected an exoplanet atmosphere that is free of clouds, marking a pivotal breakthrough in the quest for greater understanding of the planets beyond our solar system. […]

  • Mars growth was stunted by early giant planetary instability
    on May 7, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    An astrophysics team explains why the growth of Mars was stunted by an orbital instability among the outer solar system's giant planets in a new study on the evolution of the young solar system. The study builds on the widely accepted Nice Model, which invokes a planetary instability to explain many peculiar observed aspects of the outer solar system. The research shows how planet accretion (growth) is halted by the outer solar system instability. […]

  • Hubble detects helium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet for the first time
    on May 2, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have detected helium in the atmosphere of the exoplanet WASP-107b. This is the first time this element has been detected in the atmosphere of a planet outside the Solar System. The discovery demonstrates the ability to use infrared spectra to study exoplanet extended atmospheres. […]

  • Ultrahigh-pressure laser experiments shed light on super-Earth cores
    on April 25, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Using high-powered laser beams, researchers have simulated conditions inside a planet three times as large as Earth. The pressures achieved in this study, up to 1,314 gigapascals (GPa), allowed researchers to gather the highest-pressure X-ray diffraction data ever recorded and generate new, more robust models for the interior structure of large, rocky exoplanets. […]

  • NASA planet hunter on its way to orbit
    on April 19, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched on the first-of-its-kind mission to find worlds beyond our solar system, including some that could support life. Researchers will use spectroscopy to determine a planet's mass, density and atmospheric composition. Water, and other key molecules, in its atmosphere can give us hints about a planets' capacity to harbor life. […]

  • Looking for extrasolar planets: DARKNESS lights the way
    on April 16, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    An international team of scientists has developed a new instrument to detect planets around the nearest stars. It is the world's largest and most advanced superconducting camera. […]

  • Once upon a time, an exoplanet was discovered
    on April 16, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    In recent history, a very important achievement was the discovery, in 1995, of 51 Pegasi b, the first extrasolar planet ever found around a normal star other than the Sun. […]

  • Circumbinary castaways: Short-period binary systems can eject orbiting worlds
    on April 12, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Planets orbiting 'short-period' binary stars, or stars locked in close orbital embrace, can be ejected off into space as a consequence of their host stars' evolution, according to new research. […]

  • Fascinating zoo of discs discovered around young stars
    on April 11, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    New images from the SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope are revealing the dusty discs surrounding nearby young stars in greater detail than previously achieved. They show a bizarre variety of shapes, sizes and structures, including the likely effects of planets still in the process of forming. […]

  • X-rays could sterilize alien planets in (otherwise) habitable zones
    on April 2, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    Intense radiation could strip away the ozone layer of Earth-like planets around other stars and render them uninhabitable, according to a new study. […]

  • NASA survey seen as steppingstone for astronomy
    on April 2, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    By studying dust in the habitable zones of nearby stars, the HOSTS Survey is helping to determine how big future telescopes should be, which stars are likely candidates for harboring Earth-like planets and what the average star system looks like. […]

  • Newly-discovered planet is hot, metallic and dense as Mercury
    on March 27, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    A hot, metallic, Earth-sized planet with a density similar to Mercury -- situated 339 light years away -- has been detected and characterized by a global team of astronomers. […]

  • What interstellar visitor 'Oumuamua can teach us
    on March 27, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    The first interstellar object ever seen in our solar system, named 'Oumuamua, is giving scientists a fresh perspective on how planets, asteroids and comets form. […]

  • TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds
    on March 20, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    To determine the composition of the TRAPPIST-1 planets, the team used a unique software package that uses state-of-the-art mineral physics calculators. The software, called ExoPlex, allowed the team to combine all of the available information about the TRAPPIST-1 system, including the chemical makeup of the star, rather than being limited to just the mass and radius of individual planets. […]

  • Interstellar asteroid, 'Oumuamua, likely came from a binary star system
    on March 19, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    New research finds that 'Oumuamua, the rocky object identified as the first confirmed interstellar asteroid, very likely came from a binary star system. […]

  • 15 new planets confirmed around cool dwarf stars
    on March 12, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Scientists report the existence of 15 new planets -- including one 'super-Earth' that could harbor liquid water -- orbiting small, cool stars near our solar system. These stars, known as red dwarfs, are of enormous interest for studies of planetary formation and evolution. […]

  • First laboratory simulation of exoplanet atmospheric chemistry
    on March 8, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    Scientists have conducted the first lab experiments on haze formation in simulated exoplanet atmospheres, an important step for understanding upcoming observations of planets outside the solar system with the James Webb Space Telescope. […]

  • Hubble finds huge system of dusty material enveloping the young star HR 4796A
    on March 6, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Astronomers have used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to uncover a vast, complex dust structure, about 150 billion miles across, enveloping the young star HR 4796A. […]

  • Hubble observes exoplanet atmosphere in more detail than ever before
    on March 1, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    An international team of scientists has used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study the atmosphere of the hot exoplanet WASP-39b. By combining this new data with older data they created the most complete study yet of an exoplanet atmosphere. The atmospheric composition of WASP-39b hints that the formation processes of exoplanets can be very different from those of our own Solar System giants. […]

  • 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. […]