News articles tagged with "exoplanets"

11/17/2014 09:20:41
Douglas Smith
Two and a half billion years ago, single-celled organisms called cyanobacteria harnessed sunlight to split water molecules, producing energy to power their cells and releasing oxygen into an atmosphere that had previously had none. These early environmental engineers are responsible for the life we see around us today, and much more besides. At 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 19, in Caltech's Beckman Auditorium, Professor of Geobiology Woodward "Woody" Fischer will describe how they transformed the planet. Admission is free.
Sun shining through a leaf
11/29/2010 08:00:00
Kathy Svitil

Earlier this month, Eris—the distant world first discovered by Caltech's Mike Brown and colleagues back in 2005, paving the way for the eventual demotion of Pluto from planet to dwarf planet—passed fortuitously in front of a faint star in the constellation Cetus. That passage, or occultation, allowed the first direct measurement of Eris's size.

10/20/2010 07:00:00
Marcus Woo

As a kid, Assistant Professor of Astronomy John Johnson wasn't interested in astronomy—or even science for that matter. But now, as an assistant professor of astronomy, he's discovering entirely new worlds. In an interview, he talks about the search for planets and the rapidly evolving field of exoplanet astronomy.

07/27/2010 23:00:00
Kathy Svitil

Hundreds of extrasolar planets have been found, most solitary worlds orbiting their parent star in seeming isolation. Further observation has revealed that planets come in bunches. Most systems contain planets orbiting too far from one another to feel each other's gravity. In a handful of cases, planets have been found near enough to one another to interact gravitationally. Now, however, Caltech's John A. Johnson and his colleagues have found two systems with pairs of gas giant planets locked in an intimate orbital embrace.

01/13/2010 08:00:00
Kathy Svitil

Astronomers from Caltech and other institutions, using the highly sensitive 10-meter Keck I telescope atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea, have detected an extrasolar planet with a mass just four times that of Earth. The planet, which orbits its parent star HD156668 about once every four days, is the second-smallest world among the more than 400 exoplanets (planets located outside our solar system) that have been found to date.

08/06/2007 07:00:00
Robert Tindol
An international team of astronomers has discovered the largest-radius and lowest-density exoplanet of all those whose mass and radius are known. It is a gas-giant planet about twice the size of Jupiter, and is likely to have a curved cometlike tail. It has been named TrES-4, to indicate that it is the fourth planet detected by the Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey (TrES) network of telescopes.
 
07/11/2007 07:00:00
Robert Tindol
The exoplanet HD 189733b has just been found to have water vapor in its atmosphere. The observation provides the best evidence to date that water exists on worlds outside our own solar system.
 
05/31/2007 07:00:00
Robert Tindol
Astronomers using the Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey (TrES) network of small telescopes are announcing today their discovery of a planet twice the mass of Jupiter that passes in front of its star every 31 hours. The planet is in the constellation Hercules and has been named TrES-3 as the third planet found with the TrES network.
 
02/21/2007 08:00:00
Robert Tindol
A team of astronomers led by Carl Grillmair of the California Institute of Technology has discovered some puzzling things about a Jupiter-sized planet that passes in front of a nearby star in the constellation Vulpecula.
 
09/14/2006 07:00:00
Robert Tindol
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) today announced that the dwarf planet known as Xena since its 2005 discovery has been named Eris, after the Greek goddess of discord.
 
09/08/2006 07:00:00
Robert Tindol
Our home solar system may be down by a planet with the recent demotion of Pluto, but the number of giant planets discovered in orbit around other stars continues to grow steadily. Now, an international team of astronomers has detected a planet slightly larger than Jupiter that orbits a star 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Draco.
 
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