Articles on Planets

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An artists’s impression of how common planets are around the stars in the Milky Way. ESO/M. Kornmesser

Explainer: How to find an exoplanet (part 2)

A look at some of the more obscure methods astronomers use to detect planets around other stars, in the second of a two-part series on finding world's elsewhere in the universe.
In the Exoplanet Era, we are learning that planets abound in the cosmos. ESO/M. Kornmesser

Explainer: How to find an exoplanet (part 1)

Astronomers have discovered more than 3,000 planets around other stars, so far. In the first of a two-part series we look at how they find world's elsewhere in the universe.
Alpha Centauri is actually the outer star (bottom right) of The Pointers, which point to the Southern Cross. Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO

Is Alpha Centauri the right place to search for life elsewhere?

A US$100-million plan has been announced to send tiny probes out in space in search of life elsewhere in the universe. But are they looking in the right place?
Artist’s impression: Looking back 12.9-billion km towards the sun and the inner solar system from Sedna, one of the recently discovered minor planets in the Kuiper belt. NASA, ESA and Adolf Schaller

The long hunt for new objects in our expanding solar system

The search for new objects, including new planets, in our solar system has turned up some interesting finds. There have been a few failures over the years too.
NASA’s Juno probe will be the fastest object humanity has ever created when it approaches Jupiter. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Exploring the solar system: the best of what you can look out for in 2016

From the high-speed journey to Jupiter to solar eclipses, meteor showers and planetary alignments visible in the skies above -- add these space highlights to your 2016 calendar.
New Horizons’ look at Pluto’s Charon-facing hemisphere reveals intriguing geologic details that are of keen interest to mission scientists. This image was taken on July 11, 2015, when the spacecraft was 4 million km from Pluto. NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

Pluto and its collision-course place in our solar system

The New Horizons spacecraft is only hours away from its closest approach to Pluto. It's hoped the brief encounter will help answer many questions about the oddball member of our solar system.
Artist’s impression of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto and its largest moon, Charon. NASA/Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Let the people decide new place names on Mercury and Pluto

Who gets to name the craters and features on our planets was once an ad hoc affair. But now the public can have a say with just days left to vote.

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