Category Archive: exoplanet

Apr 18 2014

Hypothetical illustration of the surface of Kepler 186f: Lycoris


  We won’t know details of the surface of 186f for years, probably decades, at best. It could be a cool Venus, a warm Mars, or a water world with a thick, steamy atmosphere and no clear surface transition between vapor and liquid phases. It could have a highly reflective atmosphere or surface, locking it …

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Oct 31 2013

Hell on & off Earth


Venus may be the hottest terrestrial world in our solar system, super-volcanic Io might most resemble Dante’s Inferno, but we have a new candidate for most hellish earth-like world and it’s not even a close call:

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Sep 05 2013

Nearby super earth may be water rich

Nearby is relative, this world is more than 40 light-years away. Thousands of times farther from us than Pluto is from our sun. But exo-astronomers have narrowed down the likelihood that a planet two and-a-half times more massive than earth may have a water rich atmosphere and possibly vast oceans on its surface:

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Jul 12 2013

There’s another blue planet close by, let’s name it!


Hubble finds another blue planet! It needs a name — if we keep with the mythological gods and goddesses and demons and whatnot convention, we’re gonna run out of deities awful quick. There is however a one big complication with moving there, beyond it’s 63 light-year distance:

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Jul 02 2013

New consideration doubles the theoretical number of habitable worlds in Milky Way

Look at a big spiral galaxy like the Milky Way and its blazing with the blue-white light of hot, young stars. But the vast majority of stars in our galaxy are the smaller, redder types. Of the estimated 400 billion suns in our galaxy, astronomers believe at least half of them are red dwarfs. One …

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Jun 04 2013

Exoplanetary astronomers eager for rare opportunity to study nearest star


If you read science fiction or science fact, you know the nearest star to the sun is called Proxima Centauri, a tiny red dwarf that happens to lay on this side of its triple star system containing Alpha Centauri A and B. Since its so close, astronomers have been able to mostly eliminate the chances …

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Apr 20 2013

Kepler finds exo-solar system full of ancient earth-sized worlds


  Kepler, the probe that keeps on ticking, has found a well populated exo solar system of a type that could one day be the subject of a focused search by SETI – because there’s another interesting feature here: this star is very similar to our sun, it’s just a little smaller. Oh, and much, much older:

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Jan 09 2013

Fomalhaut B, the Zombie Planet, roams around its star once

Space.com — The latest observations of the odd planetary system revealed that the dusty debris disk surrounding the star Fomalhaut is much wider than previously thought. The debris belt spans a vast region of space between 14 billion and 20 billion miles (22.5 billion to 32.1 billion kilometers) around the star. Stranger still: The planet …

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Dec 24 2012

Nearby star is loaded with planets

A nearby star that’s been a staple of sci-fi and sci-fact for years may be loaded with planets, including at least one that may be able to support liquid water on the surface:

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Oct 18 2012

Earth-sized planet found lurking in data around … Alpha Centauri


We are living in the greatest age of planetary discovery since Galileo looked at Jupiter, and that age may be on the verge of delivering one of the most exciting discoveries imaginable: earth-like planet[s] around Alpha Centauri, AKA Rigel Kent or ACen. Just the name Centauri brings on dreamy eyes in the sci-fi and space exploration community alike. …

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