These simulated views of the ultrahot Jupiter WASP-121b show what the planet might look like to the human eye from five different vantage points, illuminated to different degrees by its parent star. The images were created using a computer simulation being used to help scientists understand the atmospheres of these ultra-hot planets. Ultrahot Jupiters reflect almost no light, rather like charcoal. However, the daysides of ultrahot Jupiters have temperatures of between 3600°F and 5400°F (2000°C and 3000°C), so the planets produce their own glow, like a hot ember. The orange color in this simulated image is thus from the planet's own heat. The computer model was based on observations of WASP-121b conducted using NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Vivien Parmentier/Aix-Marseille University (AMU)

Water Is Destroyed, Then Reborn in Ultrahot Jupiters

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Kepler 452-b. NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyl

Exoplanets: how we used chemistry to identify the worlds most likely to host life

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This artist’s illustration depicts the destruction of a young planet or planets, which scientists may have witnessed for the first time using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. Credits: Illustration: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss; X-ray spectrum: NASA/CXC/MIT/H. M.Günther

Chandra May Have First Evidence of a Young Star Devouring a Planet

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This is an artist's impression of the Jupiter-size extrasolar planet, HD 189733b, being eclipsed by its parent star. Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have measured carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the planet's atmosphere. The planet is a "hot Jupiter," which is so close to its star that it completes an orbit in only 2.2 days. The planet is too hot for life as we know it. But under the right conditions, on a more Earth-like world, carbon dioxide can indicate the presence of extraterrestrial life. This observation demonstrates that chemical biotracers can be detected by space telescope observations. Credits: ESA, NASA, M. Kornmesser (ESA/Hubble), and STScI

NASA’s Webb Space Telescope to Inspect Atmospheres of Gas Giant Exoplanets

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Artist’s rendering of a Mars artificial gravity transfer vehicle. NASA

Method of making oxygen from water in zero gravity raises hope for long-distance space travel

Method of making oxygen from water in zero gravity raises hope for long-distance space travel Artist’s rendering of a Mars artificial gravity transfer vehicle. NASA…

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Blast off. Sergey Nivens

Eight ethical questions about exploring outer space that need answers

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A new study involving long-term monitoring of Alpha Centauri by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory indicates that any planets orbiting the two brightest stars are likely not being pummeled by large amounts of X-ray radiation from their host stars. This is important for the viability of life in the nearest star system outside the Solar System. Chandra data from May 2nd, 2017 are seen in the pull-out, which is shown in context of a visible-light image taken from the ground of the Alpha Centauri system and its surroundings. Alpha Centauri is a triple star system located just over four light years, or about 25 trillion miles, from Earth. While this is a large distance in terrestrial terms, it is three times closer than the next nearest Sun-like star. Credits: Optical: Zdenek Bardon; X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Colorado/T. Ayres et al.

Chandra Scouts Nearest Star System for Possible Hazards

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An illustration of TESS as it passed the Moon during its lunar flyby. This provided a gravitational boost that placed TESS on course for its final working orbit. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA’s New Planet Hunter Snaps Initial Test Image, Swings by Moon Toward Final Orbit

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The exoplanet WASP-107b is a gas giant, orbiting a highly active K-type main sequence star. The star is about 200 light-years from Earth. Using spectroscopy, scientists were able to find helium in the escaping atmosphere of the planet — the first detection of this element in the atmosphere of an exoplanet. Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA, M. Kornmesser

Hubble detects helium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet for the first time

Hubble detects helium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet for the first time Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have detected helium in the…

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This artist’s illustration shows what the sky might look like from a planet in a particularly dusty solar system. Dust that orbits a star in the plane of the solar system is called zodiacal dust, and the light reflected and scattered by that dust is called zodiacal light. The Hunt for Observable Signatures of Terrestrial Systems, or HOSTS, survey was tasked with learning more about the effect of zodiacal dust on the search for new worlds, to help guide the design of future planet-hunting missions. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Stellar Dust Survey Paves Way for Exoplanet Missions

Stellar Dust Survey Paves Way for Exoplanet Missions Veils of dust wrapped around distant stars could make it difficult for scientists to find potentially habitable…

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NASA’s next planet-hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), successfully launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 on April 18, 2018. TESS will search for new worlds outside our solar system for further study. Credits: NASA Television

NASA Planet Hunter on Its Way to Orbit

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NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) successfully launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9. NASA Television

NASA’s planet-hunting spacecraft TESS is now on its mission to search for new worlds

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New images from the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope are revealing the dusty discs surrounding nearby young stars in greater detail than previously achieved. They show a bizarre variety of shapes, sizes and structures, including the likely effects of planets still in the process of forming. Credit: ESO/H. Avenhaus et al./E. Sissa et al./DARTT-S and SHINE collaborations

SPHERE Reveals Fascinating Zoo of Discs Around Young Stars

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Credits: Credit: NASA/Ames/Wendy Stenzel

Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Science Data Pipeline

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