When exoplanets collide

Artist’s concept illustrating a catastrophic collision between two rocky exoplanets in the planetary system BD +20 307, turning both into dusty debris. Ten years ago, scientists speculated that the warm dust in this system was a result of a planet-to-planet collision. Now, SOFIA found even more warm dust, further supporting that two rocky exoplanets collided. This helps build a more complete picture of our own solar system’s history. Such a collision could be similar to the type of catastrophic event that ultimately created our moon.

A dramatic glimpse of the aftermath of a collision between two exoplanets is giving scientists a view of what can happen when planets crash into each other. A similar event in our own solar system may have formed the moon.Known as BD +20 307, this double-star system is more than

Universe May Be Full of Earth-like Exoplanets

Artist impression of an alien planet. Researchers say Earth-like exoplanets may be common in the universe.

There may be many Earth-like planets scattered around the universe, a study has suggested, raising the possibility that other habitable worlds are out there—and that life may have evolved on it.The first exoplanets—a planet beyond our solar system—were discovered in the 1990s. Since then, thousands have been revealed, with over

3 explanations for ‘Oumuamua that aren’t alien spaceships

The first known interstellar visitor to the solar system is keeping astronomers guessing.Ever since it was spotted in October 2017, major mysteries have dogged the object, known as ‘Oumuamua (SN Online: 10/27/17). Astronomers don’t know where it came from in the galaxy. And they’ve disagreed over whether ‘Oumuamua is an

Detecting life’s influence on planetary atmospheres

An artist’s impression of a habitable exoplanet. Seasonal changes and the presence of disequilibrium gases in such a planet’s atmosphere could indicate the existence of life there.

Biosignatures that vary in time and atmospheric gases that shouldn’t exist without life to replenish them could be two possible ways to detect life on exoplanets. Finding any life that might exist on other planets is extremely challenging. Even in our own Solar System, where we can send probes and orbiters to

Incredible Discovery of 44 Exoplanets After Technical Fault

Discovery Exoplanets

Scientists have found a mammoth 44 planets beyond our solar system in one go using data from the Kepler space telescope and others. These surveys usually find batches of fewer than a dozen planets.What’s more, Kepler only gathered this data after a technical problem reduced engineers’ control of the telescope back in

Exoplanets could easily survive in double- and triple-star systems

Exoplanets

Over 3,700 exoplanets have been found lurking around our universe, and although each has its own unique set of characteristics, the vast majority have one thing in common: they orbit a single star. Researchers once believed that it would be near impossible for planets to survive outside of single-star systems,

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