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 […]

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 […]

Pale Red Dot: Astronomers Discover Potentially Habitable Exoplanet Orbiting Nearest Star

Artist’s conception of what Proxima b might look like. It is just slightly more massive than Earth and orbits in its star’s habitable zone. Temperatures might allow liquid water to exist on its surface. A potentially habitable world, it is also now the closest known exoplanet. Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Astronomers today announced one […]

Astronomers Image Massive Exoplanet in Triple-Star System

Artist’s conception of the star system HD 131399, with the planet HD 131399Ab in the foreground. Image Credit:ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser

Over the past couple decades, astronomers have been discovering a seemingly endless variety of exoplanets orbiting other stars. Some are rather similar to planets in our own Solar System, while others are more like […]

New Worlds Galore: Kepler Space Telescope Confirms 1,284 More Exoplanets

Artist’s conception of the many different exoplanets that have been discovered by Kepler so far. Image Credit: NASA/W. Stenzel

For several years now the Kepler Space Telescope, as well as other telescopes, has been discovering an increasing number of exoplanets, with over 2,000 such confirmed worlds found so far (and nearly 5,000 candidates). Today, […]

Kepler Observes Supernova's Shockwave in Visible Light for First Time

An artist’s impression of a supernova explosion. With the help of NASA’s Kepler space telescope, astronomers were able to observe for the first time the exact moment when the shockwave from a supernova reaches the surface of the progenitor star just before the latter explodes. Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

One of the most impressive […]

Mystery Deepens: New Study Shows Comets Don't Explain Odd Dimming of Kepler's 'Weird Star'

The mystery surrounding KIC 8462852 may not involve comets after all, but it is still an enigma for astronomers. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

As has been reported previously on AmericaSpace, and elsewhere, there is something weird going on around a star which is a little over 1,400 light-years away. Astronomers are still baffled as to […]

First of 18 Mirrors Installed as Final Assembly Phase for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Begins

The first of 18 mirrors being installed in the James Webb Space Telescope, in the clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Photo Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) just took a big step toward reality with the successful installation of the first of its many flight mirrors. This is […]

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

What is […]

GJ 1132b: Nearest Earth-Sized Exoplanet Discovered So Far May Be a 'Venus Twin'

Artist’s conception of GJ 1132b, an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting a nearby star. Conditions on this world, however, are probably more like Venus than Earth. Image Credit: Dana Berry

Astronomers have discovered another Earth-sized exoplanet that is the closest one to our own Solar System found so far, but it might not be a nice […]