Feb 22 2017

7 Earth-Sized Planets Discovered

Ohhh snap. Check out this space news (via CNN):

Size comparison of the four terrestrial planet...

Size comparison of the four terrestrial planets Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars and the terrestrial dwarf planet Ceres. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(NOTE: the photo above does not depict the planets in question. It’s just a cool photo of planets.)

Astronomers have found at least seven Earth-like planets orbiting the same star 40 light-years away, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The findings were also announced at a news conference at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
This discovery outside of our solar system is rare because the planets have the winning combination of being similar in size to Earth and being all temperate, meaning they could have water on their surface and potentially support life.
The seven exoplanets were all found in tight formation around an ultracool dwarf star called TRAPPIST-1. Estimates of their mass also indicate that they are rocky planets, rather than being gaseous like Jupiter.

“Ultracool dwarf star” is my favorite phrase of the day.

Source: CNN


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Sep 29 2016

Alien Megastructure WHAAAT?

Scientists have discovered an “alien megastructure” in space.

Bill is alien

Bill is alien (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s less cool than it sounds. Despite being SUPER COOL, this picture doesn’t help.

The video over at Business Insider (link) is very well made and definitely gets the point across in a short amount of time. That’s useful. And I’ll admit that the picture of what appears to be the Death Star got me to click.

BUT. Let’s calm down for a second. We don’t really know what this space thing is. And to be fair to Business Insider, the phrase “The peculiar dipping events in the disk-bearing young-stellar object EPIC 204278916” are not very exciting when you have no idea what they mean.

Space news is cool. We’ve discussed this. So if it takes using Star Wars style imagery to draw us in… well, I can live with that. I just hope our alien overlords are nice.

I kid. Sort of.

No one knows why these stars are acting so peculiar.

Source: New alien megastructure star discovered – Business Insider


Aug 24 2016

Earth-like Planet Found?

Exciting space news, people!

(CNN) In a discovery that has been years in the making, researchers have confirmed the existence of a rocky planet named Proxima b orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our sun, according to a new study. It is the closest exoplanet to us in the universe.

Cool stuff, right? It’s close to our sun so the whole “we’ll get superpowers because of a red sun” isn’t going to happen. Still, it’d be exciting if there’s life out there. See the CNN link below.

Source: Closest rocky planet to our solar system found – CNN.com