NASA’s exoplanet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has final run out of fuel, forcing its retirement after an extended 9.5-year mission that saw the discovery of 2,681 confirmed planets to date and 2,899 more candidates.
Astronomers reviewing data collected by the planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft have found evidence for a large exomoon orbiting a gas giant 8,000 light years away. If confirmed, it would mark the first detection of a moon in another solar system.
An automated telescope has found a super-Earth orbiting the star 40 Eridani A, famous to Star Trek fans as Science Officer Spock’s home star. It is twice the size of Earth and completes an orbit every 42 days.
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite’s four cameras have captured a razor-sharp “first light” image of the southern sky, demonstrating the photographic prowess needed to hunt down planets around nearby stars.
An influential panel of senior U.S. scientists and administrators recommends that NASA build a large exoplanet imaging telescope to answer fundamental questions how common Earth-like planets – and life – might be across the galaxy.
A new database lists the chemical compositions of more than 6,000 nearby stars and the abundances of elements from hydrogen to lead, giving astronomers a guide to stars that may host potentially habitable planets.
Using data from ESA’s Gaia and Hipparcos satellites, astronomers have managed to deduce the mass of a giant exoplanet orbiting Beta Pictoris by studying subtle changes in the star’s motion over a quarter of a century.
Analysis of more than two dozen relatively nearby solar systems shows the elements that went into their construction are broadly similar to what is found in Earth’s solar family, increasing confidence that Earth-like exoplanets may be common.