TESS finds its first Earth-size planet in habitable zone

The habitable-zone planet is one of three orbiting a star known as TOI 700, a cool M dwarf located about 100 light-years from Earth. The candidate planet, TOI 700 d, is is at a distance where temperatures would allow water to exist in liquid form.

ESA's CHEOPS mission Just Launched Successfully

CHEOPS stands for the Characterizing Exoplanet Satellite. It’s a partnership between ESA and Switzerland, with 10 other EU states contributing. Its mission is not to find more exoplanets, but to study the ones we already know of.

In a first, astronomers find a planet orbiting a white dwarf

In the first observation of its kind, astronomers using the Very Large Telescope in Chile have found evidence of a Neptune-size planet orbiting a white dwarf, the collapsed remnant of a Sun-like star that has run out of nuclear fuel. 

A Place on Earth with Liquid Water But No Life

 We get excited when we detect water on another world, which so far hasn’t happened often. But this study shows that the presence of water, though tantalizing and worth pursuing scientifically, guarantees nothing.

TESS is finding hundreds of exoplanets

TESS is likely to find between 10,000 and 15,000 exoplanet candidates by 2025. By 2030, the European Space Agency’s GAIA and PLATO missions are expected to find another 20,000-35,000 planets. 

Nobel Prize in Physics 2019

Half the prize went to cosmologist Jim Peebles, and the other half was awarded jointly to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz for the first discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a sun-like star. 

A planet that should not exist

Astronomers detected a giant planet orbiting a small star. The red dwarf GJ 3512 is located 30 light-years from us. The planet has much more mass than theoretical models predict.

Water Discovered in the Atmosphere of an Exoplanet

Astronomers using the Hubble space telescope have discovered water in the atmosphere of an exoplanet in its star’s habitable zone. The water was detected as vapour in the atmosphere. The planet is called K2-18b.

Exoplanet found in unusually long, elliptical orbit

The exoplanet is three times more massive than Jupiter and circles its star in an unusual elliptical orbit, one that would carry it between the Sun’s asteroid belt and the orbit of Neptune if it were transported to Earth’s solar system.

Analysis shows 1-in-6 stars may host Earth-size planets

A new statistical analysis shows Earth-size planets are likely orbiting one in six Sun-like stars. The study is the most accurate estimate yet, researchers say, of the potential population of roughly Earth-size worlds in the Milky Way.

Moon-forming disk discovered around distant planet

Using Earth's most powerful array of radio telescopes, astronomers have made the first observations of a circumplanetary disk of gas and dust like the one that is believed to have birthed the moons of Jupiter.

Planet-hunting TESS spacecraft finds exoplanet smaller than Earth

The exoplanet is orbiting a small star 35 light years from Earth and is about 80 percent the size of Earth. It orbits its host sun, an M dwarf known as L 98-59, every 2.25 days.

Two Earth-Like Worlds Found Only 12.5 Light-Years Away

An international team of researchers recently detected two new Earth-like planets orbiting Teegarden’s Star, an M-type (red dwarf) star located just 12.5 light-years from the Solar System in the direction of the Aries constellation.

New study suggests tighter restrictions on exoplanet habitability

Accounting for the buildup of toxic gases predicted to occur in the atmospheres of most planets narrows the habitable zone for complex life by half and, in some cases, rules it out altogether, the study concludes.

A Very Rare Planet Discovered

Astronomers have discovered a very unusual planet in a distant solar system. The planet, called NGTS-4b, is three times the size of Earth, and about 20% smaller than Neptune and hotter than our very own Mercury.