Spitzer Data Suggests Kepler's Strange 'Alien' Star is Surrounded by Comets, not Alien Megastructures

An artist's illustration of cometary fragments passing in front of a star. A new study based on data gathered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggests that the anomalous dips in brightness that have been observed around the star KIC 8462852 are caused by the fragmentation of similar cometary fragments. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

An artist’s illustration of cometary fragments passing in front of a star. A new study based on data gathered by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope suggests that the anomalous dips in brightness that have been observed around the star KIC 8462852 are caused by the fragmentation of similar cometary fragments. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Astronomers Probe Light From Very Early Universe, Discover Most Distant Galaxy to Date

An image of the galaxy EGS8p7, as seen from the Hubble Space Telescope. The top inset at the right shows a magnified view of the same image centered around EGS8p7, while the bottom insert shows the same view as seen by the Spitzer Space Telescope in infrared wavelengths. EGS8p7 is the most distant galaxy […]

The Case of the Helium-Shrouded Exoplanet With the Hydrogen, Comet-Like Tail

An artist's concept of the vast envelope of atomic hydrogen that envelopes the nearby helium-dominated exoplanet Gliese 436b. The radiation pressure from the planet's host star causes the gradual escape over time of significant amounts of hydrogen from Gliese 436b's atmosphere into space, which subsequently forms a large comet-like tail that follows the planet in its orbit around its star. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

An artist’s concept of the vast envelope of atomic hydrogen that envelopes the nearby helium-dominated exoplanet Gliese 436b. The radiation pressure from the planet’s host star causes the gradual escape over time of significant amounts of hydrogen from Gliese 436b’s atmosphere into space, which subsequently forms a large comet-like tail that follows the planet […]

Saturn's Massive Phoebe Ring Even Larger Than Previously Thought

Image of the Phoebe ring taken in 2009, overlaid in tan colors. The ring is much larger than Saturn's other more visible rings and is also tilted with respect to the other rings. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/U

Image of the Phoebe ring taken in 2009, overlaid in tan colors. The ring is much larger than Saturn’s other more visible rings and is also tilted with respect to the other rings. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/U. Virginia

Saturn is truly the “Lord of the Rings” and one of the most majestic places in the […]

Cloudy With a Chance of Sunshine: Astronomers Study Weather on Distant Exoplanets

An artist’s rendering of the possible weather and atmospheric circulation patterns on hot Jupiters. A new research by a team of astronomers that was based on data taken with NASA’s Kepler space telescope, studied the phase variations that occur as different portions of these planets are illuminated by their host stars as seen from […]

Astronomers Find First Evidence of Possible Volcanic Activity On a Super-Earth Exoplanet

Artist’s conception of super-Earth exoplanet 55 Cancri e, before and after volcanic activity on its day side. The surface may be partially molten. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt

Discovering new exoplanets has become rather routine in the last few years, but determining just what conditions exist on any of them is naturally more difficult, since […]

New NASA NExSS Coalition to Lead Search for Life on Distant Exoplanets

NASA’s NExSS collaboration will bring together scientists from diverse backgrounds to help search for evidence of life in other Solar Systems. Image Credit: NASA

The search for, and discovery of, exoplanets orbiting other stars has become a full-fledged endeavour in recent years, with thousands found so far and more being discovered practically every week. […]

Of Warm Gas and Galaxy Mergers: Collisions Between Galaxies Can Halt Star Formation, According to New Study

A composite image of the gravitationally interacting galaxies NGC 3226 (at the top) and NGC 3227 (bottom), which clearly shows the tidally generated large structures that surround them as a result of a past collision with a third galaxy. Optical wavelengths in the image are shown in gray scale. The infrared glow of dust […]

Hot 'Super-Earths' Provide Clues to Water in Exoplanet Atmospheres

Artist’s conception of super-Earth 55 Cancri e, one of the few exoplanets so far which astronomers are able to study the atmosphere of. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Some of the most interesting exoplanets discovered so far are the “super-Earths,” rocky worlds which are significantly larger and more massive than Earth but still smaller than the […]

Clear Skies Above: Astronomers Detect Water Vapor on Cloud-Free Atmosphere of a Hot-Neptune

An artist’s concept of the cloud-free atmosphere of exoplanet HAT-P-11b, as revealed by the combined observations of NASA’s Hubble, Spitzer, and Kepler space telescopes. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and R. Hurt (JPL-Caltech)

 

Sunny and hot all year-round, with no clouds on the horizon … That’s not a weather forecast only for the Maldive […]