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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

Worth the wait: First public release of Rosetta science camera images of comet 67P

Emily Lakdawalla • December 17, 2015 • 4

Finally! It has been a long wait, but so worth it: the Rosetta OSIRIS science camera team has delivered the first pile of data from the rendezvous with comet 67P to ESA's Planetary Science Archive. I have spent a good chunk of the last three days playing with the data, and it's spectacular.

A Rosetta OSIRIS picture of comet 67P that's only hours old

Emily Lakdawalla • December 11, 2015 • 2

ESA announced today a new website at which the OSIRIS team will now be releasing images on a regular basis -- at least one per week -- and they will be recent. Even better news, all OSIRIS data taken through September 16, 2014 has been handed to ESA and its release is expected next week.

DPS 2015: Solar System Formation

Erika Nesvold and John Debes • November 20, 2015 • 2

At the 47th Division of Planetary Systems meeting, many presentations touched on some of the most contentious and poorly known aspects of how planets form.

DPS 2015: A little science from Rosetta, beyond perihelion

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2015 • 2

Updated numbers for physical properties of the comet, and a few interesting images of surface features and surface changes on Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

ESA mission updates

Emily Lakdawalla • November 04, 2015

There have been several important pieces of news about European missions in the last month: Rosetta's fate has been determined; ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's launch is slightly delayed; and they have selected a landing site for the ExoMars rover.

Checking in on Uranus and Neptune, September 2015 edition

Emily Lakdawalla • September 22, 2015 • 5

There are no spacecraft at Uranus or Neptune, and there haven't been for 30 and 25 years, respectively. So we depend on Earth-based astronomers to monitor them, including Damian Peach.

Searching for the Origins of Earth’s Water

Van Kane • September 17, 2015 • 1

Three recently proposed low-cost space missions all aim to answer the same question: Where did Earth's abundant water come from?

How the duck got its neck: Rapid temperature changes from self-shadowing may explain 67P's unusual activity and shape

Emily Lakdawalla • September 11, 2015 • 5

When Rosetta approached comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko last summer, both its shape and its activity were surprising. It looked like two comets welded together at a skinny neck. A new paper explains how the neck may be steepening itself.

Aluminum Shapemodel of Comet 67P

Mattias Malmer • September 04, 2015 • 4

Mattias Malmer describes his MacGyver-esque process in creating a homemade aluminum version of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

ESA's cool new interactive comet visualization tool based on amateur imaging work with open data

Emily Lakdawalla • August 13, 2015 • 2

A terrific new visualization tool for comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko demonstrates the value of sharing mission image data with the public. The browser-based tool lets you spin a simulated 3D view of the comet. It began with a 3D model of the comet created not by ESA, but by a space enthusiast, Mattias Malmer.

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