Technology

We use the transit method to find other planets. Which extraterrestrial civilizations could use the transit method to find Earth?

We have discovered more than 4,000 planets orbiting distant stars. They are a diverse group, from hot Jupiters that orbit red dwarf stars in a few days to rocky Earth-like worlds that orbit Sun-like stars. With spacecraft such as Gaia and TESS, that number will rise quickly, perhaps someday leading to the discovery of a […]

Technology

Dozens of Planets have Better Conditions for Life than does Earth, Researchers Find

Writing in the journal Astrobiology, a group of researchers led by Washington State University scientist Dirk Schulze-Makuch have identified two dozen “superhabitable” planets outside the solar system that are older, larger, warmer and possibly wetter than Earth. Even though these planets are all more than 100 light years away from us, the study could prove […]

Technology

Astronomers discover the first ‘ultrahot Neptune’: one of nature’s improbable planets

An international team of astronomers, including researchers from the University of Cambridge, has discovered a new class of planet, an ‘ultrahot Neptune’, orbiting the nearby star LTT 9779. The planet orbits so close to its star that its year lasts only 19 hours, and stellar radiation heats the planet to over 1700 degrees Celsius. At […]

Technology

Planets Take Virtual Shape on Earth with NASA Knowledge and Imagery

In a time of quarantines and online learning, guided strolls along the surface of Mars are especially appealing. These tours are possible with Access Mars, a free virtual reality experience of the Red Planet, with interactive landmarks and narration by a NASA scientist, using the Planetary Data System (PDS). PDS is a long-term archive of digital data products […]

Technology

Planets Take Virtual Shape on Earth with NASA Knowledge and Imagery

In a time of quarantines and online learning, guided strolls along the surface of Mars are especially appealing. These tours are possible with Access Mars, a free virtual reality experience of the Red Planet, with interactive landmarks and narration by a NASA scientist, using the Planetary Data System (PDS). PDS is a long-term archive of digital data products […]

Technology

Rogue planets could outnumber the stars

An upcoming NASA mission could find that there are more rogue planets – planets that float in space without orbiting a sun – than there are stars in the Milky Way, a new study theorizes. “This gives us a window into these worlds that we would otherwise not have,” said Samson Johnson, an astronomy graduate student at The […]