Jul 10, 2020
With the help of citizen scientists, astronomers have discovered two highly unusual brown dwarfs, balls of gas that are not massive enough to power themselves the way stars do.
May 5, 2020
Would you like to be one of the firsts to participate in and test drive a new NASA citizen science project before it launches? We don't want to give away too much about it here but the topic is exoplanets (planets around stars beyond the sun) and anyone can take part with just a laptop or cell... Read More
Mar 9, 2020
You may have heard about the recent discovery of a new planet orbiting a pair of “eclipsing binary” stars led by summer intern Wolf Cukier and his mentor, Veselin Kostov, using data from NASA’s TESS mission. Eclipsing binaries are pairs of stars whose orbits are lined up in a handy way so the... Read More
Apr 17, 2018
Launch teams are standing down today to conduct additional Guidance Navigation and Control analysis, and teams are now working towards a targeted launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on Wednesday, April 18.
Apr 16, 2018
The worlds orbiting other stars are called “exoplanets,” and they come in a wide variety of sizes, from gas giants larger than Jupiter to small, rocky planets about as big around as Earth or Mars. They can be hot enough to boil metal or locked in deep freeze. They can orbit their stars so tightly... Read More
Mar 2, 2018
Much like detectives study fingerprints to identify the culprit, scientists used NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to find the “fingerprints” of water in the atmosphere of a hot, bloated, Saturn-mass exoplanet some 700 light-years away. And, they found a lot of water. In fact, the planet,... Read More
Feb 16, 2018
NASA’s next planet-hunting mission has arrived in Florida to begin preparations for launch. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station nearby NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida no earlier than April... Read More
Oct 11, 2017
There's no map showing all the billions of exoplanets hiding in our galaxy -- they're so distant and faint compared to their stars, it's hard to find them. Now, astronomers hunting for new worlds have established a possible signpost for giant exoplanets.
Oct 6, 2017
Some 1,500 light years from Earth, a mystery of stellar proportions is playing out. A singular star out there captured scientists’ and the public’s imagination in September 2015 with its strangely fluctuating brightness.
Mar 18, 2016
With its blue skies, puffy white clouds, warm beaches and abundant life, planet Earth is a pretty special place. A quick survey of the solar system reveals … nothing else like it. But how special is Earth, really?
Feb 18, 2016
In 1947, shortly after the end of World War II, a young radio astronomer in Australia named Ruby Payne-Scott was observing the sun when a tremendous roar of static issued from the loudspeaker of her radio telescope. Almost 70 years later, astronomers are still marveling at the outburst. “It was... Read More
Nov 23, 2015
NASA’s Kepler spacecraft is a prolific hunter of planets outside of our Solar System. Since it launched in 2009, Kepler has confirmed more than 1000 of these exoplanets and catalogued thousands of more candidates. The menagerie includes planets with densities greater than iron and... Read More