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Book review: Destiny or Chance Revisited

Emily Lakdawalla • September 04, 2013

What have the recent discoveries of thousands of exoplanets told us about how we got here, and whether we are alone? In Destiny or Chance Revisited, Stuart Ross Taylor attempts to answer those two questions.

Upgraded Alpha Centauri Planet Search Underway

Bruce Betts • July 26, 2013

The Planetary Society sponsored Alpha Centauri planet search started using a newly upgraded system in May. Here is a quick update including info from project leader Debra Fischer from Yale about their new system.

One Ocean World Among Many

Jim Bell • June 03, 2013

I'm absolutely floored when I stop to think that our beautiful blue ocean is only one of perhaps a half dozen or more oceans on other worlds in our solar system, and only one of probably millions (or more) oceans on other Earth-like planets in our galaxy. Oceans abound!

Astronomy Enters a New Era

Mat Kaplan • May 26, 2013

A live conversation about just a few of the powerful new instruments that will revolutionize our knowledge of the cosmos once again.

ALMA Adventure--Complete Interviews With Planetary Radio Guests

Mat Kaplan • March 26, 2013

The extended, mostly unedited recordings of my conversations with many of the people I spoke to at the ALMA Observatory in Chile. Also, the full English translation of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera's speech.

Atacama Diary for March 2, 2013--ALMA Explained

Mat Kaplan • March 02, 2013

The second in a series of audio blogs chronicling my trip to the driest spot on Earth, Chile's Atacama desert, to see the inauguration of the ALMA Observatory. Al Wootten and Alison Peck tell the story of ALMA.

Planetary Society Weekly Hangout, Thu Feb 14 1200PT/2000UT: Courtney Dressing

Emily Lakdawalla • February 14, 2013

Emily Lakdawalla and Courtney Dressing talked about just how common Earth-sized exoplanets may be in our neighborhood. Watch the replay here.

The raw data behind an Earth-like exoplanet

Jason Davis • January 11, 2013

Taking a closer look at KOI 172.02, a super-Earth exoplanet sitting in its solar system's habitable zone.

Report from AAS: Exoplanets (and exo-asteroids, and exo-comets) everywhere

Emily Lakdawalla • January 08, 2013

This year's American Astronomical Society meeting featured tons and tons of news on exoplanets. They're everywhere! And not just planets, but also asteroids, comets, and more....

Can you find a new planet?

Martin Still • January 07, 2013

A change in the Kepler data delivery process provides both scientists and the public to get involved in planet discovery.

First Planet Discovered in Alpha Centauri System

Bruce Betts • October 17, 2012

European astronomers have made the first planetary discovery in the closest-to-Earth Alpha Centauri star system. Here is some information about the discovery, and insights from Yale Astronomer Debra Fischer, who leads another Alpha Centauri planet search partially supported by The Planetary Society.

DPS 2012, Monday: Icy moons and a four-star exoplanet

Emily Lakdawalla • October 15, 2012

In the first full day of the annual meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, I listened to scientific sessions on icy worlds and on an exoplanet in a four-star system.

Every Planet in the Galaxy!

Mat Kaplan • June 20, 2012

Okay, just the ones we know about. xkcd does it again.

Planets around Alpha Centauri?

Bruce Betts • April 24, 2012

Do planets circle our closest stellar neighbors, the system loved by science fiction: Alpha Centauri? We don’t know. But, Debra Fischer, Julien Spronck, and their colleagues at Yale University, in part with Planetary Society support, are trying to find out.

A possible nine-planet system

Emily Lakdawalla • April 06, 2012

Someone on Twitter pointed me to a paper recently posted to ArXiv titled "Evidence for 9 planets in the HD 10180 system." If the (tentative) conclusion holds up, HD 10180 will be the first exoplanetary system known to have more planets than our own.

Watch this week's Google+ Space Hangout

Emily Lakdawalla • January 19, 2012

This week's lineup is a largely astronomical crowd so most of the conversation concerned dark matter and boiling exoplanets and imaging the black hole at the center of our galaxy.

Separating fact from speculation about Kepler-20's Earth-sized planets

Emily Lakdawalla • December 20, 2011

A large team of researchers has announced in a Nature article the discovery of not one, but two, Earth-sized planets orbiting a star named Kepler-20. This article separates the observational facts from the quite-likely-to-be-true inferences from the downstream speculations.

Hubble's Millionth Observation

Bill Nye • July 05, 2011

The Hubble Space Telescope has recorded its millionth observation. The planet is designated HAT-P-7b.

Observing at the WIYN

Meg Schwamb • June 08, 2011

On May 5 and 6, I had a run on the WIYN (Wisconsin-Indiana-Yale-NOAO) telescope, a 3.5 m telescope, the second largest telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona.

Searching for one planet, finding another

Konstantin Batygin • May 23, 2011

Some parallels exist between Odysseus' journey and the discoveries of exoplanets. What initially started out as a well-planned trip from Troy back to Ithaca, turned into a series of rather unfortunate events, with episodes of fighting Cyclops and having your crew turned into swine.

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