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Planets News

China joins Mars probe race

China is joining the race to explore Mars as it prepares to launch a probe in 2020, according to an official of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Essential Science: Did Jupiter wander away from the Sun?

Astronomers have long wondered why there are no planets closer to the Sun than Mercury. To have planets closer is common with many stars. The answer might be due to Jupiter having once been located closer to our star, suggests a new theory.

Radar 'unclothes' planet Venus

Green Bank - As a planet, Venus, shrouded in thick clouds of carbon dioxide, doesn’t lend itself to visual observation. To lift the veil on Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor, spacecraft such as NASA’s Magellan probe use radar to penetrate Venus' clouds.

Two unknown Earth-sized planets may be part of Solar System

Scientists tracking the orbits of objects on the extreme edge of our solar system believe that there is a good chance that two planets, at least as large as Earth may exist out there.

Mars once had a massive lake, NASA reports

According to reports released by NASA, Mars' Gale Crater once contained a massive lake. NASA presented evidence that also suggests the lake existed for millions of years, long enough to sustain life.

Interesting exoplanet discovered

A new exoplanet, about a third the mass of Jupiter, which circles a sun-like star in about five days, has been discovered. The planet is of great interest to astronomers.

Newfound star system 'can reveal secrets of gravity'

Scientists have discovered a triple star system that is expected to refute Einstein's theories on gravity, as well as give new insight into gravity's true nature.

Sperm bank of animals created 'to colonise other planets'

A university in Japan and a zoo are creating a sperm bank for endangered animals that may one day be used to colonise other planets, or even bring extinct species back to life.

Kepler telescope to be retired

The Kepler space telescope has been retired from its planet-hunting mission after NASA engineers failed to find a fix for its hobbled pointing system.

Pulsating star sheds light on exoplanet

New York - Scientists have devised a way to measure the internal properties of stars. The method also provides more accurate assessments of a star's orbiting planets.

NASA discovers three Earth-like planets; could host life

A NASA telescope has identified three distant planets that have close compositions to Earth and are the most likely candidates to host life.

Op-Ed: Mars One human colony 2023 — Not as half-baked as it might seem

Sydney - Mars One is the byproduct of decades of nothing being achieved in terms of real human progress in space. The idea is a one-way trip to live on Mars, and there are 8000 applicants ready to go in 2022.

Colorful images of Mercury revealed

Boston - Mercury is usually a planet that does not garner a whole lot of attention, but NASA recently revealed a new series of photos that shed some colorful light on the often ignored planet.

Space Policy Expert: Companies should buy land on moon, planets

Washington - Will the moon become the 51st state or a property of Coca Cola? If one space policy expert's initiative is approved, it's very possible that in the future land on the moon and on planets in our solar system could be purchased.

Astronomers discover 18 new Jupiter-size alien planets

Pasadena - A team of of scientists led by Caltech astronomers have announced discovery of 18 new Jupiter-size gas planets in an alien planetary system. The discovery was published in the December issue of The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.

Pluto's Doppelganger? Latest interplanetary research

Astronomers have made a detailed analysis of the dwarf planet Eris, located at the edge of our solar system. The findings indicate that Eris has very similar dimensions and physical features to Pluto. The news represents a major astronomical discovery.

Stripped of planet-hood, Pluto still interesting to NASA

Even before the defamation that comes with being stripped of planet-hood, scientists launched the New Horizons expedition to Pluto, and today marks a couple of very special anniversaries.

NASA announces 'Year of the Solar System'

To mark an unprecedented flurry of exploration which is about to begin, NASA has announced that the coming year will be their "Year of the Solar System" (YSS). This "year" will last for 23 months - the length of a Martian year in Earth terms.

Earth-like planet discoveries on the horizon

Astronomers believe that we are close to discovering planets similar to Earth in the near future. The announcement was made this week at the annual American Astronomical Society conference.

First Rocky Extrasolar Planet Discovered Outside Solar System

A team of European astronomers confirmed the discovery of the first rocky extrasolar planet, made up of solid surface -- a good start if you're thinking to live somewhere outside the solar system.

NASA Telescope Picks Up Interplanetary Collision

Two celestial bodies have crashed into each other with such force that one of them vaporized. The collision is said to have been powerful enough to melt glass, and is comparable to the impact that created the moon.

Alien life on thousands of planets

A group of Irish scientists have calculated that intelligent creatures could be living on 37,964 planets in the Milky Way.

Op-Ed: Pluto should get back its planetary status, claim astronomers

A debate being led by many senior space scientists and NASA experts on whether Pluto should be given back its' status of the the ninth planet in the solar system turns controversial.

Hawking: Life is likely on other planets but aliens are primitive

Stephen Hawking says we are not alone in the universe. There is life elsewhere in the universe but most likely they are primitive or unintelligent in nature, according to the celebrated scientist.

Large Planets, Big Questions

The beginning and the end of star formation was never of major concern to astronomers. However, what happens in between was a mystery to be solved and today astronomers have developed a theory which might help explain this phenomenon.

An Event Not to Miss: Venus and Saturn "Collide" Tonight

Besides the Moon Illusion happening tonight, the onlookers will be able to enjoy another fascinating event: Venus and Saturn will appear to collide. On Saturday June 30 and Sunday July 1, Venus will pass Saturn by only two-thirds of a degree.

Life on Other Planets? Check Around the Older Stars

Scientists believe that by searching for stars the same age, or older, than our sun; this search may lead them to one day finding ancient off world civilizations.

New hue: Plants on other Planets may be yellow, red

Researchers say that plants on other planets may have a number of colors besides green, such as yellow, red depending on what colors the plant absorb from its solar source.

Many planets may have double suns

The dual suns that rise and set over Luke Skywalker's homeworld in the film Star Wars may be more than just fantasy, according to data from Nasa.

Waterless planets surprise astronomers

According to research published in Thursday's edition of Nature two different teams of astronomers used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope for this new type of extrasolar planet research but both came up dry.
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Planets Image

This diagram shows the approximate relative sizes of the terrestrial planets  from left to right: Me...
This diagram shows the approximate relative sizes of the terrestrial planets, from left to right: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Distances are not to scale.
NASA Mercury image: JHUAPL Venus image: JPL Mars image: HST
Hundreds of planets have been found orbiting other stars. Image: An artist s concept of the planet H...
Hundreds of planets have been found orbiting other stars. Image: An artist's concept of the planet HR 8799b
NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon/STScI)
An artist s representation of a body about the size of our moon colliding at great speed with a plan...
An artist's representation of a body about the size of our moon colliding at great speed with a planet the size of Mercury.
NASA scientists found faint signatures of water in the atmospheres of five distant planets orbiting ...
NASA scientists found faint signatures of water in the atmospheres of five distant planets orbiting three different stars. All five planets appear to be hazy
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
A variety of factors  including orbit  dictate whether a planet can be colonized.
A variety of factors, including orbit, dictate whether a planet can be colonized.
An illustration of the planets and other major bodies of the Solar System
An illustration of the planets and other major bodies of the Solar System
Illustration: NASA
The line up compares artist s concepts of the planets in the Kepler-37 system to the moon and planet...
The line up compares artist's concepts of the planets in the Kepler-37 system to the moon and planets in the solar system. The smallest planet, Kepler-37b, is slightly larger than our moon, measuring about one-third the size of Earth. Kepler-37c, the second planet, is slightly smaller than Venus, measuring almost three-quarters the size of Earth. Kepler-37d, the third planet, is twice the size of Earth.