Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: exoplanet

  • Century-old data holds earliest evidence for existence of exoplanets

    Laurel KornfeldNovember 3rd, 2017

    Exoplanets, or planets orbiting stars other than the Sun, were first discovered in the 1990s, but old photographic plates taken nearly 100 years ago and recently found in storerooms at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, contain the first evidence of their existence.

  • Sunscreen ingredient falls as ‘snow’ on hot exoplanet Kepler-13Ab

    Laurel KornfeldOctober 29th, 2017

    One of the hottest known exoplanets – Kepler-13Ab – experiences 'snowfall' composed of titanium dioxide, an active ingredient in sunscreen. However, the sunscreen "snow" only precipitates on the planet's permanent dark side.

  • Debris disks may be signposts of giant exoplanets

    Ocean McIntyreOctober 17th, 2017

    Observations of star systems by an international group of researchers suggest that debris disks around stars may be indicative of giant exoplanets.

  • FINESSE mission to investigate atmospheres of hundreds of alien worlds

    Tomasz NowakowskiSeptember 5th, 2017

    One of NASA’s proposed missions, known as the Fast INfrared Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey Explorer (FINESSE), could greatly improve our understanding of extrasolar worlds. If selected for development, the spacecraft will investigate at least 500 exoplanet atmospheres, providing detailed information about climate processes on distant alien planets.

  • TRAPPIST-1 could be twice the age of the Solar System

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 13th, 2017

    The red dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 and its seven known planets have been around far longer than the Solar System, according to a new study by scientists who have estimated the system's age.

  • Hubble spots exoplanet with glowing water atmosphere

    Jim SharkeyAugust 6th, 2017

    Researchers working with data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found the strongest evidence to date for the existence of a stratosphere – the layer of an atmosphere in which temperature increases with altitude – on an exoplanet (a planet outside of the Solar System).

  • Kepler discovers 10 Earth-like exoplanets from 219 planet candidates

    Laurel KornfeldJune 21st, 2017

    NASA's Kepler mission has released the most extensive list of exoplanet findings: a total of 219 planet candidates, of which ten are Earth-like and occupy their stars' habitable zones – where temperatures allow liquid water to exist on the surface.

  • Astronomers find exoplanet hotter than most stars

    Ocean McIntyreJune 7th, 2017

    Six hundred and twenty light-years from Earth, in the constellation Cygnus, a bright, young, Type-A, blue, main-sequence star designated KELT-9 burns brightly. More than twice as massive as the Sun and nearly twice as hot, KELT-9 is a rare star – one of a group of stars making up less than one percent of the total stars in the universe. According to a paper published this week in Nature, this unusual star hosts an equally unusual exoplanet.

  • French nanosatellite to observe planet Beta Pictoris b transiting its star

    Tomasz NowakowskiMay 29th, 2017

    A small satellite developed by Paris Observatory is currently undergoing final preparations for its exoplanet-observing mission. The nanosatellite, known as PicSat, will observe the transit of the planet Beta Pictoris b as it passes in front of its host star.

  • Scientists use Kepler telescope data to uncover details about TRAPPIST-1 planet

    Laurel KornfeldMay 26th, 2017

    Data collected by NASA's exoplanet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope has enabled scientists to uncover orbital information for the outermost planet of the unusual TRAPPIST-1 planetary system.

  • ‘Warm Neptune’ HAT-P-26b has primitive atmosphere

    Ocean McIntyreMay 16th, 2017

    Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, announced in a paper published on May 12, 2017, an exoplanet designated HAT-P-26b, which was confirmed in 2010, has a primitive atmosphere of hydrogen and helium.

  • Nearby brown dwarf turns out to be a free-floating planetary-like object

    Tomasz NowakowskiMay 15th, 2017

    A new study has found that one of the nearest brown dwarfs to our Solar System, designated SIMP J013656.5+093347 (SIMP0136 for short), might actually be a planetary-mass object.

  • ‘Iceball’ planet discovered through microlensing

    Ocean McIntyreMay 2nd, 2017

    Scientists have discovered the lowest-massed exoplanet ever detected using gravitational microlensing. The exoplanet, OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb, is located in the constellation Scorpius some 13,000 light-years from Earth.

  • Spitzer discovers star system with seven orbiting Earth-sized planets

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 23rd, 2017

    A star system, approximately 40 light-years from Earth, with seven Earth-sized planets, including three in the habitable zone, has been discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

  • Review: Exoplanets: Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life Beyond Our Solar System

    Jason RhianFebruary 12th, 2017

    A new book is set for release – "Exoplanets: Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life Beyond Our Solar System" by Michael Summers and James Trefil. There are, at present, 3,700 exoplanets (that we're aware of) and counting, which makes this a welcomed addition to a space enthusiast's library.