TESS Begins Hunt for Other Earths, Opening New Chapter in Exoplanet Research

Artist’s illustration of TESS is space. Image Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

The next big chapter in exoplanet research has begun – NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has started its science observations. This is exciting since TESS will be searching for rocky, Earth-like and potentially habitable planets orbiting nearby stars. TESS is […]

Kepler Enters Hibernation Mode, Downlinks Latest Science Data Before Fuel Runs Out

Artist’s conception of the Kepler Space Telescope in space. Fuel is now running very low and the spacecraft has downlinked its latest science data to Earth. Image Credit: NASA/AP

The end is nigh – that appears to be the case at least for NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope which is now running very low on […]

SpaceX to Launch NASA's TESS Spacecraft Monday in Quest to Discover Other Earths

Conceptualized artist’s illustration of TESS in space. Image Credit: MIT

The discovery of thousands of exoplanets in recent years is one of the most exciting developments in space exploration, and the future promises the detection of thousands more. Many of those have come from the Kepler Space Telescope, including Earth-sized planets in the habitable […]

NASA's Next Exoplanet-Hunter, TESS, Arrives at Kennedy Space Center Ahead of Launch

Artist’s illustration of TESS in space. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA is getting closer to taking the next big step in exoplanet-hunting – the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) space telescope has just arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for launch no earlier than April 16. It was built […]

Astronomers Discover Distant Exoplanets in a 'Galaxy Far, Far Away'

Image of the gravitational lens galaxy RXJ 1131-1231, with the lens galaxy at the center and four smaller lensed background quasars. Image Credit: University of Oklahoma

Thousands of exoplanets have been discovered so far, of many different types, but they all share one thing in common: they have all been found in our own […]

Kepler Space Telescope Discovers First Evidence for Exocomets Transiting Their Stars

Artist’s conception of a “storm” of comets orbiting a nearby star. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Comets, those icy and rocky bodies with the spectacular long tails of gas and dust, are common in our Solar System, with several thousand having been discovered so far. But what about other solar systems? Thousands of exoplanets are now […]

First Exomoon Found? Astronomers Optimistic But Urge Caution

Artist’s conception of a large Earth-like exomoon orbiting a giant gaseous exoplanet. Image Credit: Avatar/20th Century Fox

Exoplanets are being found so frequently now that they have become commonplace. But what about exomoons? As might be expected, they are much harder to detect, being typically much smaller than most planets. There have been tantalizing […]

James Webb Space Telescope Arrives at Johnson Space Center for Cryogenic Testing

The giant 18-piece mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope, inside the cleanroom at Johnson Space Center. Photo Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

Often referred to as the successor for Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is one of the most highly anticipated space telescopes ever built. A large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary […]

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope Discovers Seven Earth-Sized Worlds Orbiting Nearby Star

Artist’s conception of standing on the surface of exoplanet TRAPPIST-1f. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The search for exoplanets – planets orbiting other stars – has been one of the most exciting developments in astronomy and space science in recent years. The first couple exoplanets were found in 1992, and now over 3,400 have been confirmed, […]

Kepler Mission Continues With Campaign 11 Observations After Short Delay

Graphic showing two full-frame images from Kepler. Modules 3 and 7 failed earlier during Campaign 10 and Module 7 failed later. Image Credit: NASA Ames/W. Stenzel

The Kepler K2 mission has now resumed after a delay of three days, NASA has reported. The Kepler Space Telescope is currently in Campaign 11, during which it […]