Gemini Planet Imager Finds Its First Exoplanet, a Methane-Rich 'Young Jupiter'

Discovery near-infrared image of the exoplanet 51 Eridani b taken by the Gemini Planet Imager on Dec. 21, 2014. The relative size of Saturn’s orbit is also shown for comparison. Image Credit: Gemini Observatory/J. Rameau (UdeM)/C. Marois (NRC Herzberg)

The Gemini Planet Imager, a new telescopic instrument designed to find, image, and study faint, […]

It's an Alien Blue World—But Nothing Like Earth

Artist’s conception of exoplanet HD 189733b—a “deep blue dot” reminiscent of Earth from a distance. Image Credit: NASA / ESA / M. Kornmesser

The planets and moons in our Solar System come in a wide variety of colors, and the natural beauty can be breathtaking. Now, the true color of a much more distant […]

Hubble Space Telescope Reveals Evidence of Farthest Known Planet From Its Star

A gap in the protoplanetary disk of dust and gas whirling around TV Hydrae uncovered evidence of an unseen, growing planet, according to astronomers studying Hubble data. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Debes (STScI), H. Jang-Condell (University of Wyoming), A. Weinberger (Carnegie Institution of Washington), A. Roberge (Goddard Space Flight Center), G. Schneider (University […]

Sifting Through the Atmospheres of Far-off Worlds

This image shows the HR 8799 planets with starlight optically suppressed and data processing conducted to remove residual starlight. The star is at the center of the blackened circle in the image. The four spots indicated with the letters b through e are the planets. This is a composite image using 30 wavelengths of […]

SOFIA Observations Reveal a Surprise in Massive Star Formation

Figures 1a and 1b show the G35 protostar at wavelengths of 31 and 37 microns taken by the FORCAST instrument on the SOFIA observatory’s infrared telescope in 2011. (Zhang et al. 2013, Astrophysical Journal)

WASHINGTON — Researchers using the airborne Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) have captured the most detailed mid-infrared images yet […]

Blame it on the Rain (from Saturn's Rings)

This artist’s concept illustrates how charged water particles flow into the Saturnian atmosphere from the planet’s rings, causing a reduction in atmospheric brightness. The observations were made with the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, with NASA funding. The analysis was led by the University of Leicester, England. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/University […]

Alien Life Around Distant Stars? Study of Outer Solar System's Moons Suggests We Look Closer

Recent reports have shown that Europa could be a bastion for life in the outer solar system. Image Credit: NASA

While there have been more than a few predictions made as to when we will discover life on a planet orbiting some far-flung star, what is only occasionally predicted is whether or not we […]