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 […]

Spitzer Space Telescope Discovers Distant Exoplanet Across the Milky Way

Utilising NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered a distant exoplanet located 13,000 light-years away, through gravitational microlensing. The red cone in the map above our Solar System, depicts the extend in the galaxy of the thousands of known exoplanets that have been discovered by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, while the red circle represents […]

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 […]

Construction Site Ahead: Hubble Observes Planet-Forming Circumstellar Dust Disks in Great Detail

A set of high-resolution images of the vast circumstellar debris disks around 11 nearby young stars, which were obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope, have helped astronomers to study their complex and dynamic structure for the first time in great detail. This visible-light survey, called HST/GO 12228, was done with Hubble’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS), […]

Intergalactic Space Is Brighter Than Thought, NASA Rocket Experiment Shows

Time-lapse image of a Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment (CIBER) rocket launch, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in 2013. This was the fourth flight of CIBER. Image Credit: T. Arai/University of Tokyo

The universe is vast and, apart from the stars and galaxies, a seemingly very dark and empty place, with utter blackness […]

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 […]

Astronomers Witness Asteroid Smash-Up Around Sun-Like Star

Artist’s conception of an asteroid collision around the Sun-like star NGC 2547-ID8. Such impacts around young stars lead to planetary formation later on. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Solar systems, including ours, are thought to begin as massive clouds of dust and gas surrounding young stars; over billions of years, planets form from repeated impacts of […]

Between the Planet and the Star: A New Ultra-Cold, Sub-Stellar Object Discovered Close to Sun

An artist’s depiction of the newly discovered WISE J085510.83-071442.5, the coldest known brown dwarf candidate, located 7.2 light-years from the Sun. Image Credit: Penn State University/NASA/JPL-Caltech

Contrary to the human need for organising objects in well-defined and distinct categories, our Solar System seems to be replete with celestial objects that defy our tidy definitions […]

NASA Telescopes See ​Weather Patterns in ​Brown Dwarf​

This artist’s conception illustrates the brown dwarf named 2MASSJ22282889-431026. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

PASADENA, Calif. — Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes have probed the stormy atmosphere of a brown dwarf, creating the most detailed “weather map” yet for this class of cool, star-like orbs. The forecast shows wind-driven, planet-sized clouds enshrouding these strange […]

Spitzer and Hershel Space Telescopes Detect Debris Belt(s) Around Vega

This is an artist’s rendering of the debris belt around the star Vega. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Scientists working with data from both NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory have confirmed the detection of an asteroid-belt-like debris belt around the nearby star Vega.

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