Sections

Services

Information

US United States

Planets

Analysis and Comment (13)

An artist’s impression shows a pair of wildly misaligned planet-forming gas discs around both the young stars in the binary system HK Tauri. R. Hurt (NASA/JPL-Caltech/IPAC)

From dust clouds to wobbly orbits for new planets

New observations of a youthful binary star system, reported today in the journal Nature, may help to explain one of exoplanetary science’s greatest unanswered questions – the peculiar orbits of so many…
Beta Pictoris b spins faster than the fastest spinning planet in our solar system. ESO/L. Calçada & N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)

A different spin – exoplanet’s ‘day’ is measured for the first time

Over the past two decades, almost 1,500 exoplanets have been discovered orbiting distant stars – but Dutch astronomers have determined for the very first time just how fast one of those exoplanets is spinning…
Things may not be as they’d previously seemed regarding the moon’s formation. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Was the moon formed by a planetary hit-and-run?

New research published in the planetary science journal Icarus, shows the moon may have been formed by a glancing collision with an “impactor” in the violent days of the early solar system. Contrary to…
Time to shine, Venus: the 2004 transit as seen from Hong Kong. Wikimedia Commons

Venus nears its moment in the sun, but what’s a transit anyway?

As you’re reading this, people all over the world are gearing up to witness this century’s final transit of Venus. Over a period of around six hours and 40 minutes tomorrow, from early morning until the…
Science follows certain procedures, but does the media get the signal? CSIRO

Diamond planets, climate change and the scientific method

Recently my colleagues and I announced the discovery of a remarkable planet orbiting a special kind of star known as a pulsar. Based on the planet’s density, and the likely history of its system, we concluded…
Warning: you may struggle to believe what you’re about to read. Bluedharma

They might be giants: a mind-blowing sense of stellar scale

Just how big are the stars? Earth feels quite big, what with it taking an entire day to fly between Sydney and London, and clearly the sun and moon are quite large in the sky. But with virtually everything…
Is your stress from Venus, your pressure from Mars? Not likely.

Altered mind this morning? Hehe, just blame the planets

Today, and for the next month, four major planets are aligned above us: Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. Are we interested? Of course we are. From the very beginning of human history we’ve been obsessed…
There’s something happening, but it’s way above your head. bluedharma/Flickr

Look out, world, the planets are aligning

Four planets – Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus – will be aligned at dawn tomorrow. What does this mean? Should we be running for the hills? You’d be forgiven for thinking so. A search on Google or YouTube…

Columnists (1)

Death, the universe and everything

The Earth’s biosphere teems with life. From its upper atmosphere to the depths of its oceans, even down into the rocks that make up the planet’s crust. All of it, all these billions of tonnes of carbon-based…

Research and News (4)

Research Briefs (7)

Super Earths could not sustain life

Rocky planets larger than Earth could not sustain life because their thick, crushing hydrogen atmospheres would be deadly…

Milky Way may be brimming with nomads

Our galaxy may be teeming with so-called ‘nomad planets’, which travel through space rather than orbiting stars, according…