News Archive / Author: Laurel Kornfeld
Laurel Kornfeld is an amateur astronomer and freelance writer from Highland Park, NJ, who enjoys writing about astronomy and planetary science. She studied journalism at Douglass College, Rutgers University, and earned a Graduate Certificate of Science from Swinburne University’s Astronomy Online program. Her writings have been published online in The Atlantic, Astronomy magazine’s guest blog section, the UK Space Conference, the 2009 IAU General Assembly newspaper, The Space Reporter, and newsletters of various astronomy clubs. She is a member of the Cranford, NJ-based Amateur Astronomers, Inc. Especially interested in the outer solar system, Laurel gave a brief presentation at the 2008 Great Planet Debate held at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, MD.
Articles By Laurel Kornfeld
Scientists propose Ceres sample return missionSeptember 14th, 2022
Planetary scientists have recommended NASA send a sample return mission to Ceres, the only dwarf planet located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Two super-Earth exoplanets to be among future Webb targetsJuly 13th, 2022
Scientists have identified two relatively close super-Earth exoplanets to be studied by the now operational James Webb Space Telescope.
Early solar system may have had a 5th giant planetJune 4th, 2022
Billions of years ago, when the Sun was still a proto-star that had not yet ignited, the young solar system may have contained a fifth giant planet in addition to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Pluto’s ice volcanoes may still be active todayMay 14th, 2022
A new study of Pluto's surface returned by the New Horizons spacecraft in 2015 has confirmed the presence of ice volcanoes on the dwarf planet's surface.
Ceres may have formed in the outer solar systemApril 3rd, 2022
Ceres is located in the asteroid belt, but its makeup and large water content suggest it formed in the outer solar system where other dwarf planets orbit.
First exoplanet targets recommended for Webb observationMarch 27th, 2022
Now that the James Webb Space Telescope's primary mirror has been aligned successfully, scientists are identifying the first exoplanets for observation.
Study of Pluto’s subsurface ocean drives potential return missionMarch 12th, 2022
A $3 billion return mission to Pluto with an orbiter is being proposed to further study the subsurface oceans of both Pluto and its large moon Charon.
Third planet found orbiting Proxima CentauriFebruary 22nd, 2022
Proxima Centauri, the star closest to our Sun, may host a third planet that has just 25% the mass of Earth, according to a new study published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Liquid water may exist beneath Mars’ south polar ice capFebruary 14th, 2022
Bright reflections detected in 2018 by the Mars Express orbiter could indicate the presence of liquid water lakes beneath Mars south polar ice cap.
Study makes case for geophysical planet definitionJanuary 16th, 2022
In an in-depth study of planet classification from the time of Galileo to the present, a group of planetary scientists criticize the 2006 International Astronomical Union planet definition as being rooted in folklore and astrology and argue for a geophysical definition that includes spherical moons as secondary or satellite planets.
Sublimating nitrogen ice could be cause of polygons in Pluto’s Sputnik PlanitiaJanuary 12th, 2022
The unusual polygonal features seen in Sputnik Planitia, the left side of Pluto's iconic heart feature known as Tombaugh Regio, could be caused by the sublimation of nitrogen ice, a team of scientists propose in a study published in the journal Nature.
Images of Pluto’s dark side produced using reflected sunlight from CharonDecember 13th, 2021
A team of scientists produced images of Pluto's dark side using reflected sunlight from its large moon Charon in images taken by the New Horizons spacecraft to tease out features on that side in low resolution.
Interstellar probe could be successor to the Voyager missionsNovember 14th, 2021
With Voyagers 1 and 2 set to run out of power in approximately a decade, NASA is considering a follow up interstellar probe that could last 50 to 100 years.
Chandra Observatory may have discovered extra-galactic planetNovember 6th, 2021
Scientists using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have found evidence for the first-ever known extra-galactic planet, located 28 million light years away in the Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as Messier 51 (M51).
Pluto’s atmosphere may be starting to condenseOctober 12th, 2021
Beginning three years after New Horizons' historic flyby, Pluto's atmosphere appeared to be starting to condense and refreeze, according to scientists.