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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

Akatsuki's new orbit, first images, and science plans

Emily Lakdawalla • December 09, 2015 • 9

JAXA had a press briefing today to confirm the successful arrival of Akatsuki into Venus orbit. It's been a long time coming: today's announcement came twelve years to the day after Japan had to abandon efforts to put Nozomi into Mars orbit. They released lovely images and discussed future plans.

Live from Sagamihara: Akatsuki in Orbit, Day 1

Sanjay Limaye • December 08, 2015

One day after closest approach, Akatsuki is now speeding away from Venus at 4.09 kilometers per second and is 180,000 kilometers from the planet. In his last report from Sagamihara, Sanjay Limaye gets some updates on the new orbiter's trajectory.

Live from Sagamihara: Akatsuki Orbit Insertion Success!

Sanjay Limaye • December 07, 2015 • 7

The Akatsuki team achieved something that no mission as done before – put a spacecraft into orbit around a planet using only the attitude control thrusters. An event that one could not even conceive or propose!

Back from the Brink: Akatsuki Returns to Venus

Ralph Lorenz • December 04, 2015 • 2

Perhaps forgotten by the general public in the West, a long-lost spacecraft is set to enter orbit around our sister planet in December, picking up where ESA’s Venus Express left off when its operations ended last year.

Transient hot spots on Venus: Best evidence yet for active volcanism

Emily Lakdawalla • June 18, 2015 • 3

In a paper released in Geophysical Research Letters today, Eugene Shalygin and coauthors have announced the best evidence yet for current, active volcanism on Venus. The evidence comes from the Venus Monitoring Camera, which saw transient hot spots in four locations along a system of rifts near Venus' equator. They saw the hot spots in two distinct episodes in 2008 and 2009.

Venus From 33 Years Ago, and Why We Need to Explore

Ted Stryk • March 05, 2015 • 1

Thirty-three years ago today, Venera 14 plunged through the thick Venusian atmosphere to the surface. Ted Styrk shares some of his processed images from the Venera lander missions to Venus—and makes a plea for us to return.

Understanding why our most Earth-like neighbor, Venus, is so different

Van Kane • March 02, 2015 • 3

Van Kane introduces us to EnVision—a proposed European mission to help improve our understanding of Venus.

Take My Free Online College Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy CSUDH Class

Bruce Betts • February 04, 2015 • 2

Our own Dr. Bruce Betts is once again teaching his Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy college course online. Come join him.

Tracking a Ghost Mission 238 Million Km Away

Daniel Scuka • January 10, 2015 • 2

Daniel Scuka describes the impending demise of the Venus Express spacecraft.

Bill Nye and people
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