Giving “family dinner” a whole new meaning.
Homer Simpson would have been impressed. D’oh!
We didn’t even know this kind of planet can exist.
Can we get excited yet? Mmm no, not really.
I never lost faith in you, Pluto.
Still a hellish planet, but a beautiful hellish planet at that.
It looks strange, but it’s really accurate.
Astronomers have found a cosmic friend for Pluto.
If you want to escape civilisation and head into the unaltered wilderness you may be in for a shock: it doesn’t exist.
Before WWII, there weren’t that many plastics around. Today, we use so much that we could literally plaster the planet in one giant clingfilm. A paper published in the journal Anthropocene reviews the state of plastic production, use and pollution and concludes that no place on Earth has been spared.
A duo of astronomers from CalTech may have found another planet, far away in our solar system.
A new dwarf planet, designated V774104 has been identified and now takes the crown of most distant object in our solar system, being three times farther away than Pluto. The dwarf planet is estimated to be between 500 and 1000 kilometers across. Astronomers don’t yet have enough data to estimate its orbit and estimate that about an year of observations is needed to gather enough data for a precise answer.
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.
Before you get overly excited, no, Pluto hasn’t been once again accepted as a planet – it’s still officially a dwarf planet (though in our hearts, you’ll always be a planet, Pluto!). However, this emblematic picture of the solar system from my childhood is now complete, as seen in this great family portrait produced by Ben Gross, a research fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Basically, we have at least the one good image of all the worlds in our solar system.
The ever resourceful Kepler missions just reported its most interesting find to date: not one, but five planets smaller than Earth orbiting a star 117 light-years away that’s estimated to be 11 billion years old. This makes it far older than our own sun, meaning its planets could be 2.5 times as old as Earth. The findings bear important implications
Nibiru followers might have cause to rejoice, as Spanish astronomers report a novel hypothesis that suggests two Earth-sized planets might be hiding out in the outskirts of our solar system. Thousands of years after the first planets besides our own were discovered by ancient Babylonian astronomers, it seems like determining the number of planets in our solar is far from being settled, despite Pluto’s unfortunate destitution.
A team of astronomers recently discovered a new exoplanet some 200 light years away whose mass is about the same as Earth’s – the first Earth-mass planet that transits, or crosses in front of, its host star. Although very similar in mass, the planet is 60% larger in diameter suggesting it has a thick atmosphere. Due to its very short
The discovery of a giant planet orbiting its star at 650 times the average Earth-Sun distance baffled researchers. So far, they haven’t been able to explain how such a strange system came to be. The international team of astronomers was led by a University of Arizona graduate student. This is the most distant planet ever found orbiting around a single,
An international discovered a young, exotic, rogue planet – PSO J318.5-22, is just 80 light-years away from Earth and has a mass six times that of Jupiter; it was formed apporximately 12 million years ago – which makes it a newborn in terms of planets (the Earth was formed approximately 4.5 billion years ago. “We have never before seen an
The search for other planets gets more and more exciting and fruitful, and now, researchers have found an exoplanet which lies truly close to us – in cosmic terms. Alpha Centauri Alpha Centauri is the closest solar system to our own, at only 4 light years away, so finding an Earth-sized planet there really is a big thing, and it