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Posts tagged kepler

Kepler’s Alien World Count Skyrockets

Before today, there were 1,000 confirmed exoplanets. Kepler just added 715 more! Read the details about this historic announcement.

Unlikely Planets Found in Violent Star Clusters

When it comes to forming planets, Mother Nature isn’t very picky. Despite horrific conditions inside densely packed open clusters, stars apparently have no problem forming and hanging on to an orbital brood. That’s the conclusion from a new study that used data collected by NASA’s now-dormant Kepler space telescope to hunt for planets in a one-billion-year old open cluster called NGC 6811, a collection of about 70 stars located about 3,400 light years away in the constellation Cygnus. Read more.

Introducing Kepler-62: A Star System With Two Earths?

Two Earth-sized planets have been discovered orbiting Kepler-62, a star approximately 1,200 light-years away, inside its habitable zone. Which, quite frankly, is bonkers.

“We’re particularly delighted to find that there are two planets in the habitable zone.” — lead Kepler scientist William Borucki

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Kepler 2.0: Next-Gen Exoplanet Hunter Approved

Sure, Kepler is awesome, but the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) sounds pretty darned epic. And it’s got funding. And it’ll launch in 2017. And it’s going to survey 400 times more space for transiting exoplanets. See? Epic.

No Alien Signals Detected in Kepler SETI Search

In an effort to search for intelligent extraterrestrials, SETI astronomers have completed their first “directed” search. Unfortunately, it turned up no evidence of transmitting aliens. But that’s hardly surprising.

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Kepler: Nearest ‘Second Earth’ May Be Right Next Door

"Nevertheless, statistically that would mean six percent of all red dwarf stars should have a Earth-sized planet, Dressing said, adding that since 75 percent of the closest stars are red dwarfs, the nearest Earth-like world may be just 13 light-years away."

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The American Astronomical Society (AAS) conference is in full swing in Long Beach, Calif., and this morning’s sessions can be summarized as follows: There’s more exoplanets than you can shake an exostick at.

Earth-Sized Alien Worlds Orbit One in Six Stars: About 17 percent — one in six — of Kepler’s target stars have Earth-sized worlds orbiting closer to their parent stars than where Mercury orbits the sun.

Exoplanets: an interactive version of XKCD 1071 

Quite frankly, this is awesome:

All blue and light brown planets are smaller than Jupiter. Brown represents the planets larger than Jupiter, while red represents the largest of them all. For the color by distance option, the more blue a planet is, the further away it is from the nearest star.

This is an interactive version of the excellent XKCD exoplanet graphic.

11 New Alien Solar Systems Crammed With Exoplanets Confirmed

The number of known multi-planetary star systems has just tripled. What’s more, the Kepler space telescope science team has just announced that they have doubled the number of confirmed exoplanetary sightings made by the observatory.

"Prior to the Kepler mission, we knew of perhaps 500 exoplanets across the whole sky," said Doug Hudgins, Kepler program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. "Now, in just two years staring at a patch of sky not much bigger than your fist, Kepler has discovered more than 60 planets and more than 2,300 planet candidates. This tells us that our galaxy is positively loaded with planets of all sizes and orbits."

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Two Planets With Twin Stars Found

The Star Wars’ fictional planet Tatooine is not so fictional or unique after all.

Fresh on the heels of the discovery of a planet orbiting two parent stars comes the finding that far from being a fluke, such systems are common throughout the galaxy.

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