“Beyond Anything Found in Our Solar System”

Diamond Exoplanet


“The search for planets is the search for life,” said Natalie Batalha, a Kepler mission scientist from NASA’s Ames Research Center. In the search for Earth-like habitable planets, occasionally something truly weird pops up, something unlike anything in our solar system.


“Unknown Population” –Multi-Star Systems Harboring Planets With Very Strange Orbits

ALMA and SPHERE view of GW Orionis


Unlike our remarkably flat Solar System, with its planets all orbiting in the same plane, the alien star-system GW Orionis, located just 1,200 light-years away in the constellation of Orion, has three stars and a deformed, shattered and warped disc of tilted rings surrounding them. “Since more than half of stars in the sky are born with one or more companions, says astronomer Alexander Kreplin of the University of Exeter about pioneering new research that has revealed the first direct evidence that a three-star system can tear apart their planet-forming disc, “this raises an exciting prospect: there could be an unknown population of exoplanets that orbit their stars on very inclined and distant orbits.”


“Supersharp Vision” –First Exoplanet Discovered by Radio Telescope


 TVLM 513-46546 Exoplanet


“In the deepest sense, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is a search for ourselves,” said Carl Sagan. Although as yet unfulfilled, the quest continues from the Kepler Mission to Tess and now via the ten 25-meter radio antenna dishes of the continent-wide Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). Astronomers have announced the discovery of a Saturn-sized planet closely orbiting a small, cool star 35 light-years from Earth using the VLBA’s supersharp radio “vision”.


“Epic” –ESO Captures First-Ever Image of a Sun-Like Multi-Planet System




Today the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has released the first ever image of a multi-planet system around a young, Sun-like star accompanied by two giant exoplanets twenty-five years after Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz announced the first discovery of a planet outside our solar system orbiting a solar-type star in our home galaxy, the Milky Way using the Haute-Provence Observatory in southern France. The exoplanet, 51 Pegasi b, discovered using the Doppler spectroscopy technique, which measures wobbles of a star as a planet orbits around it, is a gaseous ball comparable with the solar system’s biggest gas giant, Jupiter.


“Ice Giant” –Blasted Fossil Core of a Massive, Jupiter-Sized Planet Discovered (Weekend Feature)

"Ice Giant" --Blasted Fossil Core of a Massive, Jupiter-Sized Planet Discovered


A strange ice giant that can’t be explained by previous theory has been discovered by NASA Scientists using the exoplanet-sleuth Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS, which had “first light” on Aug. 7, 2018). The planet, TOI-849 b, is the most massive Neptune-sized planet detected to date, and the first to have a density that is comparable to Earth. The odd proportions of planet orbits a star about 750 light years from Earth every 18 hours, and is 40 times more massive.


“Life on Milky Way’s Ocean Worlds” –X-Ray ‘Telescope’ Reveals Alien Geology

"Life on Milky Way's Ocean Worlds" --Water-Rock Boundaries May Not Exist


There’s been increasing speculation that many of the Milky Way’s more than 4,100 known exoplanets might resemble the ocean worlds of Jupiter’s storied moon Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus. “So if we’re thinking about these places as being possibly habitable, maybe bigger versions of them in other planetary systems are habitable too,” says NASA’s Lynnae Quick about planets with oceans that may be orbiting many of our galaxy’s one trillion stars.