It will have time to find just a couple more candidate exoplanets.
Three of the newly-discovered planets are so-called super-Earths.
Space exploration made easy.
This odd world hundreds of light-years away could teach us about how planets in our solar system formed.
Who knows — this might make a great second home.
A ninth planet 10 times bigger than Earth might be lurking far away within the solar system.
This could be a game changer.
It’s the ‘blackest’ planet we’ve found.
It’s the best candidate for an alien moon we’ve encountered so far.
That’s one hot tomato!
An extraordinarily inflated planet could prove very lucrative in our quest to find other habitable planets.
What a great day for science!
It’s press only, but NASA made sure everyone can follow the talks and even get a question in.
The search for extraterrestrial life is about to get some new recruits — us.
A glimpse from outer space.
One group from Lund University in Sweden says Planet 9 or Planet X, as it’s sometimes called, might actually be an exoplanet, initially formed in another solar system but captured by our sun in an interstellar gravity tug of war.
There is only one clear set of official criteria by which we class or not a cosmic body as a planet. These criteria introduced in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union saw Pluto demoted to the status of dwarf planet. Oddly enough, though, these rules were made for classing planets only in our solar system, meaning the 5,000 exoplanets (what should be planets outside our solar system) identified so far are now in a “definitional limbo,” according to planetary astronomer Jean-Luc Margot at UCLA. Luckily, Margot has come up with a solution which seems to work marvelously.
Using three state of the art ground-based telescopes, a team of astronomers has identified three super-Earth exoplanets that are seven to eight times as massive as our own planet and orbit their parent star closer than Mercury orbits the sun. What’s hot about the findings – apart from the planet’s likely scorching surface – is that these were made using a novel automated approach, in which one telescope called the Automated Planet Finder (APF) Telescope at Lick Observatory in California was programmed to scour the night’s sky and look for signs of nearby alien planets. These three planets are just the beginning of a new process that hopefully will return hundreds of planets in our neighborhood, all without the need for human supervision.
Just after NASA researchers made the bold claim that they will find alien life in less than 20 years, the space agency has officially launched a project to look for it. The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science, or “NExSS” will be a project integrating several fields of science, aiming to better understand exoplanets with the potential to host life, as well as planet-life interactions.
According to Danish and Australian researchers, there are billions of the stars in the Milky Way located in the “habitable zone”, where liquid water might exist, and with it, life as we know it.