Artikel: Foto gemaakt van enorme planeten rond een andere zon-achtige ster

Karen Kwon / Scientific American

For the first time ever, scientists have managed to capture images of multiple planets twirling about another sunlike star. Yet despite its stellar host’s resemblance to our own, the snapshots of this planetary system reveal it to be no place like home.

Named TYC 8998-760-1 and located about 300 light-years from Earth in the constellation Musca, the star is similar in mass to the sun. Its two known planets, however, are distinctly alien—orbiting their star at about 160 and 320 times the Earth-sun distance, respectively (spans that are about four and eight times greater than Pluto’s separation from our sun). Both worlds are supersized, compared with anything in our solar system. The outermost planet is some six times heavier than Jupiter, and the inner one tips the scales at 14 times Jupiter’s mass. Each of the worlds appears as a small dot around the star in images produced by the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research instrument, or SPHERE, which operates on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in northern Chile. The findings are detailed in a study published on July 22 in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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Artikel: nieuwe planeetzoekende satelliet heeft 1e exoplaneet gevonden

Charles Q. Choi /

NASA’s newest planet-hunting mission has reported detecting its first alien world — a “super-Earth” that is likely evaporating under the heat from its star, a new study finds.

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched to Earth orbit on April 18 atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The space telescope is analyzing several hundred thousand of the brightest stars in the sun’s neighborhood, looking for tiny dips in brightness caused by the passage (or “transit”) of orbiting planets as small as Earth across the faces of those stars.

The scientists have used TESS data to discover a new planet around the star Pi Mensae, also known as HD 39091, which is located about 59.5 light-years from Earth in the constellation Mensa, the table. Pi Mensae is a yellow dwarf star like the sun and the second-brightest among stars known to have transiting exoplanets. [NASA’s TESS Exoplanet-Hunting Mission in Pictures]

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Artikel: In 1 klap meer dan 40 exoplaneten ontdekt

Vivian Lammerse / Scientias

Onderzoekers hebben in één klap 44 planeten buiten ons zonnestelsel weten op te sporen. Een enorm succes, want doorgaans worden er in één keer zo’n twaalf of zelfs minder ontdekt. En een aantal van deze exoplaneten hebben ook nog eens een interessant tintje.

Zo blijkt dat vier van de vierenveertig exoplaneten een wel heel kort jaar hebben. “Vier van de planeten draaien in minder dan 24 uur om hun ster,” zegt hoofdauteur van het onderzoek John Livingston. “Met andere woorden, een jaar op elk van deze planeten is korter dan een dag hier op aarde.” Hoewel we op dit moment nog niet zo heel veel van dit soort planeten kennen, blijft de lijst groeien. Zo zou het uiteindelijk best kunnen uitpakken dat ze helemaal niet zo zeldzaam zijn als dat ze lijken.

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Artikel: Nearby alien planet may support life

Mike Wall /

One of the nearest exoplanets to Earth may be a decent abode for life.

Ross 128b — which lies just 11 light-years from our planet — is likely a rocky and temperate world, a new study suggests.

“Although Ross 128b is not Earth’s twin, and there is still much we don’t know about its potential geologic activity, we were able to strengthen the argument that it’s a temperate planet that could potentially have liquid water on its surface,” lead author Diogo Souto, of the Observatório Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, said in a statement. [10 Exoplanets That Could Host Alien Life]

Ross 128b has excited and intrigued astrobiologists since its discovery last year. The planet appears to circle in the “habitable zone” of its host star — that just-right range of distances where liquid water could exist on a world’s surface. (Ross 128b circles a small, dim red dwarf star, so the habitable zone is quite close in; the planet completes one orbit every 9.9 Earth days.)

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