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Tag: Planets

The Verge: What makes a planet a planet?

Over a decade ago, astronomers thought they had found the 10th planet in our Solar System — an object that would eventually be named Eris. But this tiny world never became a planet. Instead it led to Pluto’s famous demotion from a planet to a dwarf planet, a decision that people are still debating to …

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Harvard University: Where Do Planets Come From with Anjali Tripathi | CfA

Understanding the birthplaces of planets is an ongoing mystery. Planets have been predicted to form from disks of gas and dust around young stars. New observations of these protoplanetary disks offer exciting evidence for planet formation in action. Speaker: Anjali Tripathi  

American Museum of Natural History: Science Bulletins: The Hunt for Planet X

A large, unseen planet may be lurking in the cold, dim reaches of our solar system. Using a combination of theory and observation, scientists have estimated the mass, distance and orbital period of a proposed “Planet X.”  

SETI Institute: Searching for Planets around Alpha Centauri – Michael Endl

The alpha Centauri system – our next door neighbor in space – represents a very attractive target for exoplanet searches. Owing to its proximity, a planet found around any of the three stars in the system would be an ideal target for detailed follow-up studies with next generation ground- and space-based telescopes. In this talk …

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Science Magazine: A new 9th planet for the solar system?

Observations of the orbits of six small objects have led researchers to propose a very large 9th planet–100s of astronomical units (AU) away from the sun. Far enough away that this Neptune-sized planet takes ~15,000 years to complete one orbit.  

Times Infinity: Size comparison of the universe

From the quantum size to the cosmic scale, the size comparison of the entire universe will show you how large things really are! This is an update to my previous size comparison video published on the same date in 2013.  

American Museum of Natural History: Why Are There No Planets in the Asteroid Belt?

The asteroid belt provides important clues into the history of our solar system. Meteorite specialist Denton Ebel, curator in the Division of Physical Sciences, explains different theories of solar system formation and how the asteroid belt figures into the stable configuration of planets that we know today.  

Cornell University: A Thousand New Worlds

) Lisa Kaltenegger, director of the Carl Sagan Institute and associate professor of astronomy at Cornell, has been examining alien worlds for biosignatures–the pre-conditions and indications of life. Here she shares her research on potentially habitable planets beyond our solar system.  

Wylie Overstreet: To Scale: The Solar System

On a dry lakebed in Nevada, a group of friends build the first scale model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits: a true illustration of our place in the universe.  

NASA: Ancient Earth, Alien Earths

During an August 20 event at NASA headquarters, called Ancient Earth, Alien Earths, a panel of scientists from NASA and other organizations discussed how vastly different and inhospitable we all would find ancient Earth, if we could go back in time. Despite the conditions, though, it was an environment in which life began and evolved …

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Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets

Published by TED on Apr 17, 2014 Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven’t seen any of them — yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: …

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NASA: Kepler-186f: The first discovered Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of another star

Published on Apr 17, 2014 NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has discovered the first validated Earth-size planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a distant star, an area where liquid water might exist on its surface. The planet, Kepler-186f, is ten percent larger in size than Earth and orbits its parent star, Kepler-186, every 130 days. …

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NASA: Studying Other Worlds with the Help of a Starshade

Published on Mar 20, 2014 This animation shows the prototype starshade, a giant structure designed to block the glare of stars so that future space telescopes can take pictures of planets.   _____________ http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/video/15 __________________________

NASA: Colliding Comets Hint at Unseen Exoplanet

Published on Mar 6, 2014 Music: “Halos” by Lars Leonhard, courtesy of the artist and Ultimae Records. An international team of astronomers exploring the disk of gas and dust the bright star Beta Pictoris have uncovered a compact cloud of poisonous gas formed by ongoing rapid-fire collisions among a swarm of icy, comet-like bodies. The …

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Seeing Planets Like Never Before

Astronomers have located more than 1,000 planets orbiting stars other than our own, and the latest observations are starting to reveal what these planets are like. The AMNH-led Project 1640 is at the forefront of this research. The project’s advanced telescope instrumentation can spot chemical fingerprints that will help characterize how exoplanets form, evolve, and …

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CFA: After Kepler

The Kepler spacecraft was launched in 2009 to find the first Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars. In this talk hosted by Harvard University, three speakers summarize the spacecraft’s mission and highlights some of its surprising discoveries. They also talk about the planned follow-up mission called TESS. Speakers: Dimitar Sasselov, Soren Meibom, and David Latham. The …

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Franck Marchis: Breaking the Seeing Barrier for Planetary Astronomy

In this SETI talks Franck Marchis discuss the contributions of telescopic observation over the past 50 years to planetary science, particularly the recent developments like adaptive optics which renewed interest in ground-based observations of planets. When Galileo Galilei pointed his telescope toward Jupiter in 1609 and discovered what we now call the Galilean moons, he did …

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Jonathan Fortney: The Typical Planet in our Galaxy?

SETI talks presents Jonathan Fortney who talks about how the NASA’s Kepler Mission has revealed that the most common size of planet in our galaxy may be those from 2-3 Earth radii. Such medium-sized planets are significantly more common on close-in orbits than Neptune and Jupiter-class giant planets. We have no analog for these planets …

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NASA: Kepler Makes Discoveries Inside the Habitable Zone

NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered two new planetary systems that include three super-Earth-size planets in the “habitable zone,” the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water.

SETI: Recent exoplanet discoveries

A discussion at SETI Chatts on the recent Kepler exoplanet findings, and Fomalhaut b, Hubble Space Telescope revealed rogue planet.  Participants; Paul Kalas (SETI Institute/UC-Berkeley), Jon Jenkins (SETI Institute), Franck Marchis (SETI Institute) and Adam Mann (WIRED).

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