New Planets





An Earth-size planet is careening untethered through the galaxy   Live Science - October 29, 2020
Earth orbits the sun like a ship sailing in circles around its anchor. But what if someone or something cut that ship loose? Unbound from any star or solar system, what would become of a tiny world flying helplessly and heedlessly through interstellar space? What happens when a planet goes rogue? Scientists suspect that billions of free-floating or "rogue" planets may exist in the Milky Way, but so far only a handful of candidates have turned up among the 4,000-or-so worlds discovered beyond our solar system. Most of these potential rogue planets appear to be enormous, measuring anywhere from two to 40 times the mass of Jupiter (one Jupiter is equivalent to about 300 Earths). But now, astronomers believe they've detected a rogue world like no other: a tiny, free-floating planet, roughly the mass of Earth, gallivanting through the gut of the Milky Way.




Scientists discover distant 'mirror image' of the Earth and the sun   Science Tech Daily - June 7, 2020

The star Kepler-160 and its companion KOI-456.04 are more reminiscent of the Sun-Earth system than any previously known exoplanet-star pair. Among the more than 4,000 known exoplanets, KOI-456.04 is something special: less than twice the size of Earth, it orbits a Sun-like star. And it does so with a star-planet distance that could permit planetary surface temperatures conducive to life. The object was discovered by a team led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Gšttingen. Its host star, called Kepler-160, actually emits visible light; the central stars of almost all other exoplanets, on the other hand, emit infrared radiation, are smaller and fainter than the Sun and therefore belong to the class of red dwarf stars.




This Newfound Alien Planet Has 3 Suns   Space.com - July 27, 2019
Astronomers think they've spotted an alien planet with three suns on its horizon Ń but that still isn't the most interesting thing about the strange new world's sky. Scientists found the world, which they've dubbed LTT 1445Ab, in data gathered by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). LTT 1445Ab orbits just one of the three stars, all of which are red dwarfs in the latter half of their lives, and the system is about 22.5 light-years away from Earth.




Nearby planet is 'excellent' target in search for life   BBC - November 15, 2017
Astronomers have found a cool, Earth-sized planet that's relatively close to our Solar System. The properties of this newly discovered planet - called Ross 128 b - make it a prime target in the search for life elsewhere in the cosmos. At just 11 light-years away, it's the second closest exoplanet of its kind to Earth. But the closest one, known as Proxima b, looks to be less hospitable for life. Found in 2016, it orbits the star Proxima Centauri, which is known to be a rather active "red dwarf" star. This means that powerful eruptions of charged particles periodically batter Proxima b with harmful radiation. The new planet, Ross 128 b, orbits a star that's not dissimilar to Proxima Centauri (it's also a red dwarf), but is significantly less active.




'Iceball' planet discovered through microlensing   Science Daily - April 26, 2017
Scientists have discovered a new planet with the mass of Earth, orbiting its star at the same distance that we orbit our sun. The planet is likely far too cold to be habitable for life as we know it, however, because its star is so faint. But the discovery adds to scientists' understanding of the types of planetary systems that exist beyond our own.




  Star's seven Earth-sized worlds set record   BBC - February 22, 2017
Astronomers have detected a record seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a single star. The researchers say that all seven could potentially support liquid water on the surface, depending on the other properties of those planets. But only three are within the conventional "habitable" zone where life is considered a possibility. The compact system of exoplanets orbits Trappist-1, a low-mass, cool star located 40 light-years away from Earth.




Evidence of a real ninth planet discovered   Science Daily - January 20, 2016
Researchers have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system. The object, which the researchers have nicknamed Planet Nine, has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun on average than does Neptune (which orbits the sun at an average distance of 2.8 billion miles). In fact, it would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun.




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