AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch GPS IIF-7 on a Atlas V 401 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
2 Aug 14 3:23:00 GMT
1 Aug 14 23:23:00 EDT

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No Water, Please: The Case of the Surprisingly Dry 'Hot Jupiters'

This is an artistic illustration of the gas giant planet HD 209458b in the constellation Pegasus. The planet was recently studied by astronomers alongside two other similar extrasolar worlds, for their abundance in water. To the surprise of astronomers, they have found much less water vapor in the planets’ atmospheres than standard planet-formation models [...]

Astronomers Discover First Ice Giant Exoplanet Candidate in Long-Period Orbit

This artist’s concept shows Kepler-421b, a Uranus-sized transiting exoplanet with the longest known year, circling its star once every 704 days. Kepler-421b orbits an orange, K-type star that is cooler and dimmer than our Sun and is located about 1,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. Image Credit/Caption: Harvard-Smithsonian, Center for Astrophysics/D. A. [...]

Strange New Worlds: Exoplanets Abound in the Cosmos (Part 2)

A comparison of the sizes of the three known planets of the star Kepler-37 with some of the worlds of the solar system. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Astronomers have been dazzled by the sheer number of planets there seem to be in the galaxy. According to a recent estimate, there’s on average at least one [...]

Planets, Planets Everywhere: Exoplanets Abound in the Cosmos

Illustration depicting a system of three rocky planets, each smaller than the Earth, found in orbit around the red dwarf KOI-961. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

It has been only about 20 years since the first planets were found outside our solar system. Today, almost a thousand exoplanets have been confirmed, and the rate of discovery [...]

NASA's Hubble Reveals Rogue Planetary Orbit for Fomalhaut B

This false-color composite image, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, reveals the orbital motion of the planet Fomalhaut b. Based on these observations, astronomers calculated that the planet is in a 2,000-year-long, highly elliptical orbit. The planet will appear to cross a vast belt of debris around the star roughly 20 years from now. [...]

Kepler Completes Prime Mission

The Kepler Spacecraft has concluded its prime mission and will move on to conduct an additional four-year extended mission. To date, the space-based telescope has discovered 105 confirmed worlds. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler mission marked two major milestones this week as the space telescope scans the heavens for planets like our own. The [...]