Astronomers suspect the Sun’s closest stellar neighbor desiccated its potentially rocky exoplanet, destroying the planet’s chances for habitability.
From the discovery of gravitational waves to the building evidence that a massive planet could exist beyond Pluto, it has been a thrilling year for astronomy research. We recap.
Three teams of astronomers used the SPHERE instrument on the Very Large Telescope to image protoplanetary disks around nearby stars and catch planet formation in action.
A young pair of stars hosts three potentially planet-forming disks, and all three of them are wildly tilted with respect to each other.
Observations confirm that the closest star to our solar system has a regular magnetic cycle similar to our Sun.
Dust and gas between stars would pose a threat to spacecraft en route from Earth to the Alpha Centauri system — and scientists are seriously considering the problem now that the prospect of interstellar travel is no longer sci-fi.
Astronomers have discovered a planet in the habitable zone of the closest star to the Sun.
Kepler’s K2 mission has confirmed 104 new exoplanets — including a rocky, four-planet system.
Astronomers have discovered a giant planet with an exceptionally wide orbit in a young system of three suns.
Kepler-108 is the first system observed with really wonky orbits, which may be a result of giant planets bumping into each other.
A recent glut of exoplanet research reveals the early chaos that helped shape planetary systems.
Astronomers re-analyzed two-year-old data from the ALMA observatory in Chile and discovered gas gaps that probably indicate baby planets in the disk around a young star.
A high-resolution ALMA image of the HR 8799 planetary disk suggests undiscovered planet.
Even though Kepler’s primary mission ended three years ago, the data it collected just revealed a mother lode: 1,284 newly confirmed planets.
Light’s finite speed helped astronomers pinpoint the location of the “inner wall” of the disk of dust and gas that’s feeding a fast-growing baby star.
Astronomers just discovered three planets, two of which are roughly the size of Earth, orbiting a dim nearby dwarf star. Their proximity makes their atmospheres ripe for observing.
Yuri Milner commits $100 million to Breakthrough Starshot, a research and development project toward sending interstellar nanoprobes to Alpha Centauri.
A new thermal map of a super-Earth exoplanet is puzzling astronomers.
Professional and amateur astronomers working together have found a young exoplanet in the Hyades star cluster. The planet is weirdly large, given its host star.
New observations from the Hubble Space Telescope are helping characterize the atmospheres of exotic planets such as 55 Cancri e.
The Pale Red Dot Initiative has begun the search in earnest for exoplanets orbiting the nearest star to Earth besides the Sun.
Astronomers studying hot Jupiter exoplanets revealed when and how clouds form on these alien worlds.
A new study shows that about half of Kepler’s giant exoplanet candidates aren’t real planets. But astronomers expected this.
Astronomers at the Extreme Solar Systems III conference announced several exciting results this week.
Astronomers have detected debris around a white dwarf that might be from one or more disintegrating rocky planets.