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More Issues

Feature: Exoplanets

2 March 2020

Your Guide to Exoplanets

Learn why and how we study exoplanets, and how you can get involved.

2 March 2020

Our Exoplanets Research

Scientists are searching for 100 Earth-like planets around other stars, and you can help.

Swapna Krishna ● 12 March 2020

What is the Habitable Zone?

The habitable zone is the not-too-hot, not-too-cold region around a star where liquid water can exist.

Emily Lakdawalla ● 2 March 2020

The Different Kinds of Exoplanets
You Meet in the Milky Way

Lava worlds. Hot Jupiters. Earth 2.0 candidates. Here's a rundown of some notable exoplanets.

Emily Lakdawalla & Staff ● 2 March 2020

How to Search for Exoplanets

Some methods almost sound like science fiction: Using gravity as a magnifying glass, watching stars wobble at turtle-like speeds, and searching for tiny dips in starlight.

2 March 2020

Your guide to WFIRST

WFIRST, NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope, is the next step in our hunt for Earth-sized exoplanets.

Blogs & Articles

Planetary discovery over the past quarter century

Steven Hauck • December 20, 2016 • 1

2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of what has become one of the primary venues for the publication of research in planetary science: the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. This occasion is a good opportunity to look back at what we have learned in this era of expanded exploration and to try to take a peek at the future.

Rosetta in the Rearview: What Have We Learned?

John Noonan • November 07, 2016 • 1

Just over a month ago the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft finished its mission by spectacularly diving into the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. How did it observations influence and alter our ideas about the typical formation and lifetime of a comet?

Rosetta is gone

Emily Lakdawalla • September 30, 2016 • 6

Today there is one less spacecraft returning science data from beyond Earth. The European Space Operations Centre received the final transmission from Rosetta at 11:19 September 30, UT.

Rosetta spacecraft may be dying, but Rosetta science will go on

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2016 • 3

The Rosetta mission will end tomorrow when the spacecraft impacts the comet. ESA took advantage of the presence of hundreds of members of the media to put on a showcase of Rosetta science. If there’s one thing I learned today from all the science presentations, it’s this: Rosetta data will be informing scientific work for decades to come.

Rosetta end-of-mission update

Emily Lakdawalla • September 09, 2016 • 5

The European Space Agency has shared plans for the end of the Rosetta mission scheduled for September 30, just three weeks from now. The landing site will be located on the "head" of the comet, next to a prominent pit now named Deir el-Medina.

Philae spotted on the surface of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2016 • 1

Ever since its landing, Philae has been elusive. It went silent just three days later and never returned any more science data, though it made brief contact with the orbiter last summer. Now, just a month until the planned end of the Rosetta mission, the orbiter has finally located the lander in a stunning high-resolution view of the surface.

Rosetta end-of-mission plans: Landing site, time selected

Emily Lakdawalla • July 26, 2016 • 2

ESA's comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft is nearing the end of its mission. Last week, ESA announced when and where Rosetta is going to touch down. And tomorrow, it will forever shut down the radio system intended for communicating with the silent Philae lander.

A feast of new OSIRIS photos from comet 67P

Emily Lakdawalla • May 11, 2016 • 2

Last week, the Rosetta mission released a large quantity of science data to the worldwide public, including photos from the mission's close observation phase and the Philae landing.

Opposition surge comet

Emily Lakdawalla • April 12, 2016 • 1

Today, the Rosetta OSIRIS team's Image of the Day is this highly unusual view of the comet with the Sun very nearly behind the spacecraft.

Running Down a Comet

Joseph Masiero • January 26, 2016

The Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) telescope has discovered its first comet of 2016.

Bill Nye and people
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