Planet-sized objects floating freely among the stars may not be planets at all. According to Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, the objects may have formed the same way that stars form. They may be extremely small brown dwarfsÂstar-like objects too small to ignite.
Nov 10, 2006 | TECHNOLOGIES
NASA Approves Mission and Names Crew for Return to Hubble
(NASA) - NASA has approved a fifth servicing mission for the Hubble Space Telescope.
Aug 15, 2006 | SCIENCE
NASA's Spitzer Digs Up Troves of Possible Solar Systems in Orion
(NASA - JPL) - A new image from Spitzer identifies 2,300 planet-forming disks in the Orion nebula.
Jul 26, 2006 | SCIENCE
Planet-Forming Disks Might Put the Brakes on Stars
(NASA - JPL) - Dusty planet-forming disks may slow down the young, whirling stars that they surround.
Jun 12, 2006 | SCIENCE
NASA's Fuse Finds Infant Solar System Awash in Carbon
(NASA) - Scientists discover abundant amounts of carbon gas surrounding the young star Beta Pictoris.
Jun 01, 2006 | SCIENCE
NASA's FUSE Mission Discovery Featured in Media Briefing
(NASA) - NASA will soon hold a teleconference about carbon-rich gas that may be forming planets around a young star.
Apr 06, 2006 | SCIENCE
Spitzer Finds Hints of Planet Birth around Dead Star
(NASA) - NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has uncovered new evidence that planets might rise up out of a dead star's ashes.
Jan 26, 2006 | SCIENCE
Closer to Home
(NSF) - Astronomers have discovered a small, rocky, extrasolar planet using a technique known as gravitational microlensing.
Jul 01, 2005 | SCIENCE
Researchers Discover Planet with Largest Solid Core
(NASA) - NASA researchers recently discovered the largest solid core ever found in an extrasolar planet.
Jun 22, 2005 | SCIENCE
NASA's Hubble Chases Unruly Planet
(NASA) - NASA's Hubble Telescope offers evidence that an unseen planet is gravitationally tugging on a dusty ring around the star Fomalhaut.
Jun 20, 2005 | SCIENCE
New Hubble Observations
(NASA) - New observations from Hubble will be presented by astronomers during a media teleconference on Wednesday.
Jun 14, 2005 | SCIENCE
Astronomers Announce the Most Earth-Like Planet Yet Found Outside the Solar System
(NSF) - Astronomers have announced the discovery of the smallest extrasolar planet yet detected.
Jun 10, 2005 | SCIENCE
Scientists Make New Discovery About Planets Outside Our Solar System
(NSF) - On June 13th the NSF will hold a media briefing concerning major advances in the search for extrasolar planets.
Apr 26, 2005 | MISSIONS
Hubble Celebrates 15th Anniversary
(NASA) - In the past 15 years, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has taken more than 750,000 photos of the cosmos.
Apr 20, 2005 | MISSIONS
Signs of Alien Asteroid Belt
(NASA) - Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted what may be the dusty spray of asteroids banging together in a belt that orbits a star like our Sun.
Apr 15, 2005 | SCIENCE
A Planetary Family Feud
(NSF) - Studies suggest that planetary systems that could harbor life may be rare in the Universe.
Apr 13, 2005 | SCIENCE
Media Teleconference for Significant Spitzer Discovery
(NASA) - Astronomers will announce a significant discovery from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope on Wednesday, April 20.
Mar 22, 2005 | SCIENCE
NASA's Spitzer Marks Beginning of New Age of Planetary Science
(NASA) - NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured the light, for the first time, from two known planets orbiting stars other than our sun.
Mar 22, 2005 | SCIENCE
NASA Changes Spitzer Science Update to Today
(NASA) - Astronomers will announce major findings about planets outside our solar system, known as extrasolar planets, at a NASA Science Update at 3 p.m. EST today.
Mar 18, 2005 | MISSIONS
NASA's Spitzer Telescope Unveils Extrasolar Planet Findings
(NASA) - Astronomers will announce major findings about extrasolar planets on Wednesday, March 23.
Jan 13, 2005 | SCIENCE
Spitzer Sees Dusty Aftermath of Pluto-Sized Collision
(NASA) - Astronomers say a dusty disc swirling around the nearby star Vega was probably caused by collisions of objects perhaps as big as the planet Pluto.
Jan 11, 2005 | SCIENCE
Hubble Homes in on Suspected Extrasolar Planet
(NASA) - NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is providing important supporting evidence about a possible planet 225 light-years away.
Oct 14, 2004 | SCIENCE
Spitzer Uncovers Planets' Violent Past
(NASA) - Astronomers will present new findings about how planets are built during a news briefing on Monday.
Aug 31, 2004 | SCIENCE
Scientists Discover First of a New Class of Extrasolar Planets
(NASA) - Astronomers announced today the discovery of a new class of extrasolar planets that are far smaller than gas giants like Jupiter.
Aug 27, 2004 | SCIENCE
Major Extra-Solar Discovery Announcement Scheduled
(NASA) - A team of planet-hunters will announce their discovery of a new class of planets beyond our solar system on August 31.
Apr 15, 2004 | SCIENCE
Cosmic Magnifying Glass: Distant Star Reveals Planet
(NASA - JPL) - For the first time, astronomers have discovered an exoplanet using gravitational microlensing.
Mar 18, 2004 | SCIENCE
Webcast Links Venus Event and Planet-Hunting
(NASA) - NASA will discuss the search for extrasolar planets in relation to Venus' upcoming solar transit.
Feb 03, 2004 | SCIENCE
Oxygen and Carbon Found in Exoplanet Atmosphere 'Blow-Off'
(ESA) - Astronomers report the first observation of oxygen and carbon in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet.
Jan 26, 2004 | MISSIONS
Mars Mission Offers Clues in Hunt for New Worlds
(NASA) - NASA plans to develop space telescopes with super-sharp vision that can detect planets like Mars or Earth around other stars.
Nov 24, 2003 | TECHNOLOGIES
Largest Pair of 'Eyes' Ever Built to Aid Search for Planets
(NASA - JPL) - The NASA-funded Large Binocular Telescope will help scientists search for planets around distant stars.
Jul 30, 2003 | TECHNOLOGIES
(NASA) - A new kind of glass pane containing liquid crystal droplets may help in the search for extrasolar planets.
Jul 25, 2003 | TECHNOLOGIES
Tiny Measurement Gives Big Boost to Planet Hunt
(NASA - JPL) - Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories have developed a method for measuring the movement of stars that is accurate enough to detect Earth-like planets.
Jul 15, 2003 | SCIENCE
Astronomers Find Oldest, Most Distant Planet
(CNN.com) - A newly identified extrasolar planet may change theories about when planets began to form and when life first evolved.
Jun 17, 2003 | TECHNOLOGIES
In Search of E.T.'s Breath
(NASA) - Advanced space telescopes probe far-off worlds for the chemical signatures of alien life.
Oct 02, 2002 | SCIENCE
(Astrobiology Magazine) - Astronomers have detected possible signs of water on extrasolar planets.
Sep 27, 2002 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS
Shortlisting Stars With Planets
(Astrobiololgy Magazine) - ESA researchers discover the first evidence of dust rings surrounding our solar system.
Sep 25, 2002 | SCIENCE
Newfound Planet in Circular Orbit around Another Star
(Space.com) - A new extrasolar planet with a circular orbit has been recently identified around a star 100 light-years away.
Sep 11, 2002 | SCIENCE
Tuning in to Other Worlds
(Astrobiology Magazine) - The forces that light auroras above Earth also discharge radio waves. Scientists may find distant planets by listening for radio bursts.
Jul 15, 2002 | SCIENCE
(Space.com) - Scientists review what's been learned about extrasolar planets, and what it means for the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe.
Jun 24, 2002 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS, TECHNOLOGIES
First 'Good Jupiter' Found
(NASA) - The planet may leave room in the habitable zone for an Earth-like planet.
Jun 10, 2002 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS, TECHNOLOGIES
The Search for Distant Earths
(Astrobiology Magazine) - Over this decade and the next, as many as six space telescopes may be launched to search for Earth-sized planets.
May 22, 2002 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS
Other Worlds Not So Strange, Top Planet Hunter Says
(Space.com) - Astronomers are beginning to find planetary systems that resemble our own.
May 21, 2002 | MISSIONS
Hubble Telescope: Surprise Tool in Search for Life
(Space.com) - Hubble has unexpectedly made major contributions to astrobiology.
Apr 15, 2002 | SCIENCE
Signs of Another Solar System Like Ours
(Space.com) - Scientists have uncovered additional evidence that planets are forming in a cloud of dust around the star Beta Pictoris.
Apr 01, 2002 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS, TECHNOLOGIES
Testing Smartest Technique for Finding Extrasolar Planets
(ESA) - The GENIE telescope instrument will block out light from stars, revealing dust rings and perhaps even planets hidden in the stars' glare.
Feb 28, 2002 | MISSIONS, TECHNOLOGIES
Shuttle Mission to Upgrade Hubble
(Space.com) - Add-ons may let the space telescope see extrasolar planets. Liftoff is planned for tomorrow.
Jan 30, 2002 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS
New Estimate of Terrestrial Planets in Our Galaxy
(Space.com) - Researchers in Australia calculate that there may up be to 30 billion small, rocky planets like Earth in the Milky Way.
Jan 18, 2002 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS, TECHNOLOGIES
In Search of E.T.'s Breath
(NASA Astrobiology Institute) - The atmospheres of distant planets may tell us if life is present.
Jan 04, 2002 | SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGIES
Young Stars in the 'Pillars of Creation'
(ESO) - New infrared images of the Eagle Nebula may help determine whether very bright stars prevent planets from forming around nearby newborn stars.
Dec 27, 2001 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS, TECHNOLOGIES
Asteroid Belt Found around Nearby Star
(NASA Astrobiology Institute) - If asteroids can form around a star, perhaps small, rocky planets like Earth can, too.
Dec 21, 2001 | MISSIONS
NASA Gives Go-ahead to Kepler Mission
(NASA) - The mission will search for Earthlike planets in the habitable zone.
Nov 28, 2001 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS
Alien Atmosphere Discovered
(NASA) - NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected the atmosphere of a planet circling a distant Sun-like star.
Nov 01, 2001 | SCIENCE
More Planets Emerge with Solar System-like Orbits
(NASA) - The detection of additional "good jupiters" is reassuring news in the search for habitable planets.
Aug 31, 2001 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS
Weather on Distant Worlds Could Lead Telescopes to Alien Life
(Space.com) - Earth-like planets that could harbor life may one day be found by changes in the planets' weather.
Aug 16, 2001 | SCIENCE
Planetary System Similar to Our Own Found
(Washington Post) - Two giant planets orbit at a distance from a Sun-like star, leaving room for possible Earth-like planets in the habitable zone.
Aug 16, 2001 | SCIENCE
Extrasolar Planets with Earth-like Orbits
(NASA Astrobiology Institute) - Astronomers have discovered an extrasolar planet with an orbital path very similar to that of Earth.
Aug 15, 2001 | SCIENCE
Study Doubles Number of Potential Earth-Like Planets
(Space.com) - Terrestrial planets may be able to form around binary stars as well as solitary stars.
Aug 15, 2001 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS
Are We Alone? Where are our Nearest Neighbors?
(NASA Astrobiology Institute) - Excerpts from testimony by NASA's Edward Weiler to the House Subcommiteee on Space and Aeronautics.
Aug 14, 2001 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS, TECHNOLOGIES
Detecting Other Worlds: Transit Photometry
(Space.com) - By looking for slight variations in the brightness of stars, astronomers are able to detect Earth-sized planets outside of the solar system.
Jul 26, 2001 | SCIENCE
Detecting Other Worlds: The 'Pulse' Method
(Space.com) - Using a technique known as pulsar timing, scientists are able to detect planets around stars outside of our solar system.
Jul 12, 2001 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS
Water Clouds Found outside Our Solar System
(NASA) - A stellar apocaplypse is the first evidence of water-bearing worlds beyond our own planetary system.
Jul 02, 2001 | SCIENCE
Detecting Other Worlds: The 'Flash' (Gravitational Lens) Method
(Space.com) - Gravity from galaxies, stars, or planets can bend light to form points, arcs, and even halosan effect known as a gravitational lens.
May 24, 2001 | SCIENCE
Detecting Other Worlds through Doppler Spectroscopy
(Space.com) - Of the 60 known extrasolar planets, almost all have been discovered by a technique called doppler spectroscopy.
May 18, 2001 | SCIENCE
Galactic Habitable Zones
(NASA Astrobiology Institute) - The Sun may be one of the few stars in the Galaxy capable of supporting complex life.
May 09, 2001 | SCIENCE
The Harsh Destiny of a Planet?
(European Southern Observatory) - Scientists have discovered evidence that a nearby star may have swallowed one of its own planets.
May 07, 2001 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS
How Jupiter Got Big
(NASA Astrobiology Institute) - How did the largest planet in our solar system form? New theories on how planets like Jupiter form put traditional theories to the test.
May 03, 2001 | SCIENCE
Planets May Be Rarer than Previously Thought
(Spaceflight Now/Vanderbilt Univ.) - Ultraviolet light from nearby massive stars may blast away developing planetary systems.
Mar 19, 2001 | TECHNOLOGIES
An Astronomy First: Telescopes Double-team Hawaiian Night Sky
(NASA Astrobiology Institute) - Proving that two telescopes are better than one, NASA astronomers have gathered the first starlight obtained by linking two Hawaiian 10-meter telescopes.
Mar 18, 2001 | TECHNOLOGIES
First light for the Very Large Telescope Interferometer
(European Southern Observatory) - The facility, high atop the Andes in Chile, combines images from multiple large telescopes to create a single virtual telescope.
Mar 05, 2001 | SCIENCE
A Shortage of Planets
(NASA Astrobiology Institute) - When they turned the Hubble Space Telescope on a distant globular cluster of stars, astronomers expected to find fifteen or twenty planets. They found zero.
Jan 04, 2001 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS
Planets may be more common than previously thought
(Nature) - Clouds of hydrogen gas may remain around young stars longer than expected, giving Jupiter-like planets more time to form.
Dec 28, 2000 | SCIENCE
Planet orbits nearby star
(NASA Astrobiology Institute) - This summer, a planet was discovered orbiting Epsilon Eridani, a star close enough to see with the unaided eye.
Oct 17, 2000 | SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGIES
Dust disk found around Sun-like star
(Space.com) - The discovery may shed light on how planets form.
Aug 08, 2000 | SCIENCE
Finding hidden alien planets by reading a swirl of dust
(Spaceflight Now/NASA) - The new technique may permit astronomers to find planets undetectable by present methods.
Aug 07, 2000 | SCIENCE
Second multiple-planet solar system discovered
(BBC) - The more multiple-planet systems we find, the more common planets are likely to be.
Jul 18, 2000 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS, TECHNOLOGIES
Chandra sees heavy elements forming
(NASA Science News) - Astronomers using the Chandra X-ray Observatory are seeing how supernovae spray the essential elements of life into interstellar space.
Jun 22, 2000 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS, TECHNOLOGIES
Six new extrasolar planets discovered
(Spaceflight Now) - More than forty extrasolar planets have been discovered so far. Most are around stars with an abundance of heavy elements.
May 09, 2000 | SCIENCE
Eight new extrasolar planets detected
(BBC) - European astronomers on Monday reported detecting signs that eight planets, some of them possibly larger than Jupiter, may be orbiting stars outside our own solar system. These discoveries bring the number of potential extrasolar planets to more than 40.
Apr 07, 2000 | SCIENCE, MISSIONS
Suspected protoplanet may really be a distant star
(Astronomy Now/Spaceflight Now) - What was thought to be the first planet outside our solar system to be seen directly may now prove to be a star.
Mar 29, 2000 | SCIENCE
Planet hunters on trail of worlds smaller than Saturn
(NASA) - Scientists have discovered a pair of Saturn-sized planets orbiting a nearby star.
Jan 17, 2000 | SCIENCE
Passing star may have disrupted planetary system
(UniSci) - Stars straying past a planetary system may distort the orbits of the planets.
Jan 03, 2000 | SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGIES
Spectroscopy: when a color is more than a color
(explorezone.com) - Spectrograms are the bar codes of the universe.
Jan 02, 2000 | SCIENCE
Astronomer aims to find more planets among the stars
(Dallas Morning News) - A scientist hopes to discover whether stars older than our Sun have planets. His findings may have significant implications for how common life is throughout the universe.
Dec 16, 1999 | SCIENCE
First light ever seen from extrasolar planet
(space.com) - The planet is the first outside our solar system to be observed directly. Other extrasolar planets have been detected indirectly, by changes in the brightness, color, or position of the stars they orbit.
Dec 08, 1999 | SCIENCE
New theory of planet formation: habitable planets less likely
(Yahoo!/Reuters) - Newly discovered planetary systems look different from ours because they were formed differently, say a pair of scientists.
Nov 29, 1999 | SCIENCE
More extrasolar planets discovered in habitable zones
(SpaceViews) - Astronomers have discovered planets around six more Sun-like stars. Their findings have significant but mixed implications for the likelihood of habitable planets elsewhere in the universe.
Oct 24, 1999 | SCIENCE
Do Stars Eat Their Young?
(SpaceViews) - Studies of Sunlike stars may indicate that giant planets have fallen into them.
Sep 23, 1999 | SCIENCE
Possible Earth-like planet found in habitable zone
(New Scientist) - Two scientific teams claim to have found planets a lttile larger than Earth. Remarkably, one planet may orbit within the habitable zone of its star. Another planet was detected with the help of a lens in space created by gravity.
Sep 13, 1999 | SCIENCE
Scientists size up huge distant planet
(Jerusalem Post) - The planet is believed to be 10 times the mass of Jupiter. It is one of three planets that are thought to orbit the star V Andromedae. Studying planets outside our solar system will shed light on how common habitable planets are.
Aug 25, 1999 | MISSIONS, TECHNOLOGIES
NASA chooses partner for first interferometer in space
(NASA) - The mission will use spacecraft flying in formation to create a large virtual telescope.
Aug 21, 1999 | SCIENCE
Planet orbits two stars
(BBC News) - While some planets have been found orbiting only one of a pair of stars, this planet orbits both.
Aug 17, 1999 | SCIENCE
Planets may alter orbits over time
(Scientific American) - Evidence sugguests the gas giant planets in our solar system changed orbits after forming. Planets around sunlike stars may begin in ustable orbits, and settle into systems very different from ourÂ own.
Jan 10, 1999 | SCIENCE
Nearby stars come under greater scrutiny
(SpaceViews) - The stars nearest the Sun are gaining new attention because they may be especially
suited to support planets. Scientists are collecting and sorting what is known about each star into the Nearby Stars (NStars) database, which will be accessible over the Web.