Data from NASA's Kepler space telescope point to three distinct molds of exoplanets — rocky worlds, gas dwarfs, and ice/gas giants — distinguishable based on the abundances of heavy elements in their host star’s atmosphere.
A new processing technique has revealed once-invisible planetary disks encircling five stars imaged in Hubble’s archive.
Astronomers have used a new technique to measure — for the first time — the spin of an extrasolar planet.
By combining nearly 1,500 observations with sophisticated computer models, astronomers have shed light on a nearby planetary system, proving that the planets' bizarre orbits will actually remain stable for the next 100 million years.
The newly discovered planet, Kepler-186f, is the first Earth-size exoplanet circling in its star’s habitable zone. The media worldwide is gleaming with fantastical headlines, but readers in the know may have an inkling the result is less than it seems.
Sizzling gas giants circling close to their host stars — so-called hot Jupiters — keep their host stars young and active, a new study suggests.
This year’s April Fools' provides a wealth of alarming results. Catch up on all the scientific shenanigans here.
Astronomers might have solved an outstanding mystery of why forming planetary systems emit more infrared light than expected. The key lies with gas and dust suspended in giant magnetic loops.
A new map of Beta Pictoris reveals an asymmetric clump of carbon monoxide likely produced in cometary collisions. It provides a rare glimpse at the chaotic birth of a planetary system.
Old data from NASA’s crippled Kepler space telescope has yielded a new windfall of confirmed exoplanets, nearly doubling the number tallied since 1992.
Astronomers have discovered a new “failed star” with unusually red, dusty skies. The dust makes the object look much younger than it actually is, complicating studies of this type of brown dwarf.
Astronomers are beginning to understand the unlikely formation and dangerous survival of exoplanets circling binary stars.
Astronomers using a novel technique have mapped a brown dwarf's visible surface — even though they can't resolve the object in telescopes.
From high-altitude clouds discovered on a super-Earth to massive, hurricane-force storms on a nearby brown dwarf, a bevy of results show that the age of “astrometeorology” is upon us.
Most alien planets are nothing like what we've got in the solar system. Scientists are homing in on these mysterious worlds to see what they’re made of.
Astronomers have come up with a new technique for measuring an alien planet’s mass, and therefore its composition and potential habitability, even when standard methods don’t work.
Two teams have announced the discovery of water on alien worlds. But they found less water than expected, suggesting these planets are surrounded by a high-altitude haze.
The Kepler team has released its analysis of the mission’s first three years of observations. The haul includes 10 Earth-size (and probably rocky) exoplanets in their stars’ habitable zones, and the stats show such planets are common.
Planet Hunters citizen-science program identifies 14 exoplanet candidates the Kepler mission missed, including a seventh planet in a known system, making it the first seven-planet system discovered.
Two independent teams have confirmed that the planet Kepler-78b is roughly Earth-size and less than twice Earth's mass, making it the smallest exoplanet with a known density.
The red giant star Kepler-56 spins on an axis offset by a bizarre 45 degrees from its transiting planets. The discovery of a third companion could explain why.
Photosynthetic life has infused Earth's atmosphere with abundant oxygen that otherwise wouldn't be here. So can oxygen be used as a dependable signature for life on other worlds? Maybe not, according to a new analysis.
Turns out “the lonely star of autumn” has not just one, but two distant companions, making it one of the most widely separated systems known.
Visible and infrared observations suggest that the hot Jupiter Kepler-7b has a large patch of clouds on one side.
New studies of the coolest brown dwarfs are helping astronomers explore the mysterious objects that bridge the gap between stars and planets.