Astronomers have long suspected that superflares, extreme radiation bursts from stars, can cause lasting damage to the atmospheres — and thus habitability — of exoplanets. A new study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society reports that they pose only a limited danger to planetary systems.
Scientists at Cornell University and the American Museum of Natural History have identified 2,034 nearby star-systems – within the small cosmic distance of 326 light-years – from which life could find Earth merely by watching our pale blue dot cross our sun.
On Monday, April 19, 2021, journalists are invited to attend a virtual workshop for science writers on characterizing planets orbiting other stars. The workshop is hosted by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland.
A new study by University of Chicago and Stanford University researchers suggests that hot, rocky exoplanets could not only develop atmospheres full of water vapor, but keep them for long stretches.
Advances in astronomical observations have resulted in the discovery of an extraordinary number of extrasolar planets, some of which are believed to have a rocky composition similar to Earth. Learning more about their interior structure could provide important clues about their potential habitability. Led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), a team of researchers aims to unlock some of these secrets by understanding the properties of iron oxide – one of the constituents of Earth’s mantle – at the extreme pressures and temperatures that are likely found in the interiors of these large rocky extrasolar planets.
By monitoring the cosmos with a radio telescope array, a Cornell University-led international team of scientists has detected radio bursts emanating from the constellation Boötes. The signal could be the first radio emission collected from a planet beyond our solar system.
The American Institute of Physics recognizes the winners of the 2020 Science Communication Awards for their topical works on reshaping our world, recognizing forgotten women in science, searching for knowledge, and hunting down black holes. The 2020 winners are Susan Hockfield, Joshua Sokol, Curtis Manley, and Catalyst.
A new book chronicles the scientific discoveries of NASA’s Kepler and K2 missions. It also asks some big questions: “Are we alone? What is our place in the Universe?”
After examining a dozen types of suns and a roster of planet surfaces, Cornell University astronomers have developed a practical model – an environmental color “decoder” – to tease out climate clues for potentially habitable exoplanets in galaxies far away.
To help future scientists make sense of what their telescopes are showing them, Cornell University astronomers have developed a spectral field guide for rocky worlds orbiting white dwarf stars.
After spotting a curious pattern in scientific papers – they described exoplanets as being cooler than expected – Cornell University astronomers have improved a mathematical model to accurately gauge the temperatures of planets from solar systems hundreds of light-years away.
– Cornell University astronomers have created five models representing key points from our planet’s evolution, like chemical snapshots through Earth’s own geologic epochs. The models will be spectral templates for astronomers to use in the approaching new era of powerful telescopes, and in the hunt for Earth-like planets in distant solar systems.
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has studied the universe in infrared light since its launch in 2003, and at the end of this month its mission will come to an end — leading NASA and astronomers worldwide to reflect on the…
The new NEID instrument, now installed at the 3.5-meter WIYN telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Southern Arizona, USA, has made its first observations. The NSF-NASA funded instrument is designed to measure the motion of nearby stars with extreme precision — roughly three times better than current state-of-the-art instruments — allowing us to detect, determine the mass of, and characterize exoplanets as small as Earth.
An international team of scientists has reported in the journal Nature that they’ve discovered evidence of a gaseous disk around a white dwarf star — expanding astronomers’ understanding of planetary bodies that can exist around white dwarfs. Lisa Kaltenegger, who…