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Potential survival of extreme life forms on eccentric exoplanets

Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 2012 - Astronomers have discovered a veritable rogues' gallery of odd exoplanets- from scorching hot worlds with molten surfaces to frigid ice balls. And while the hunt continues for the elusive blue dot

This would be a real ninth planet," says Brown, the Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor of Planetary Astronomy. "There have only been two true planets discovered since ancient times, and this would be a third. It's a pretty substantial chunk of our solar system that's still out there to be found, which is pretty exciting."…

This would be a real ninth planet," says Brown, the Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor of Planetary Astronomy. "There have only been two true planets discovered since ancient times, and this would be a third. It's a pretty substantial chunk.

The six most distant known objects in the solar system with orbits exclusively beyond Neptune (magenta) all mysteriously line up in a single direction. Also, when viewed in three dimensions, they tilt nearly identically away from the plane of the solar system. Batygin and Brown show that a planet with 10 times the mass of the earth in a distant eccentric orbit anti-aligned with the other six objects (orange) is required to maintain this configuration. Credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)…

Using observations from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, a team of French scientists were able to identify possible positions for the recently proposed Planet Nine. On January of this year, as…

Comparison of the size and orbit of Alpha Centauri B around Alpha Centauri A. Alpha Centau...

Two Earth-like planets could be hiding close to our solar system

Comparison of the size and orbit of Alpha Centauri B around Alpha Centauri A. Alpha Centauri B nearly takes 80 years to go around Alpha Centauri A in a highly eccentric orbit

Low Tech - James Christensen    The indomitable spirit of the space age barnstormer is what made the space program work. Before there was a high tech, there had to be a low tech.

Low Tech - James Christensen The indomitable spirit of the space age barnstormer is what made the space program work. Before there was a high tech, there had to be a low tech.

Here’s a new illustration for the New Yorker! Astronomers at Caltech might have found a 9th planet in our solar system. An eccentric ice giant.  http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/discovering-planet-nine

Astronomers at Caltech believe they’ve found an ice giant out beyond Neptune. Illustration by Aleks Sennwald

Our Solar System May Have Once Harbored Super-Earths Our Solar System May Have Once Harbored Super-Earths by Kimm Fesenmaier for Caltech News Pasadena CA (SPX) Mar 24, 2015   This snapshot from a new simulation depicts a time early in the solar system's history when Jupiter likely made a grand inward migration (here, Jupiter's orbit is the thick white circle). As it moved inward, Jupiter picked up primitive planetary building blocks, or planetesimals, and drove them into eccentric orbits…

Long before Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars formed, it seems that the inner solar system may have harbored a number of super-Earths.

Mysterious Dimming Star This illustration shows a star behind a shattered comet. Observations of the star KIC 8462852 by NASA's Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes suggest that its unusual light signals are likely from dusty comet fragments, which blocked the light of the star as they passed in front of it in 2011 and 2013. The comets are thought to be traveling around the star in a very long, eccentric orbit. Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech | EurekAlert! Science News

Iowa State astronomers say comet fragments best explanation of mysterious dimming star

Monday, April 14, 9 a.m. Because of its eccentric orbit, Mars will be at its closest to Earth today, almost a week after opposition on April 8. This is an unfavourable opposition, Mars being only 15.1 arc seconds in diameter. Later today, the almost Full Moon will pass just north of Mars.

NASA has long held the lead in the exploration of Mars, and that trend will continue, says NASA administrator Charles Bolden.

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