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Physics Nobel Honors Early Universe and Exoplanet Discoveries
The astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz won half of the prize for their 1995 discovery of a Jupiter-like planet orbiting a nearby star. The cosmologist James Peebles won the other half for work exploring the structure of the universe.
Wandering Space Rocks Help Solve Mysteries of Planet Formation
After an interstellar asteroid shot past the sun, scientists realized that there’s probably a lot of itinerant rocks out there.
A Close Look at Newborn Planets Reveals Hints of Infant Moons
Astronomers have discovered a complex planetary system still swirling into existence.
As Planet Discoveries Pile Up, a Gap Appears in the Pattern
Astronomers are puzzling over a paucity of planets in the galaxy measuring between 1.5 and two times Earth’s size.
The Scientist Who Cooks Up the Skies of Faraway Worlds
Astronomers will soon take their first glance at the atmosphere of a distant exoplanet. Sarah Hörst is writing the guidebook for these exoplanetary explorers, one that will reveal what a distinctive atmosphere says about the world underneath.
Planets Found to Be Larger Than the Disks They Come From
The new finding is challenging established theories of how planets come to be.
Why Earth’s Cracked Crust May Be Essential for Life
Life needs more than water alone. Recent discoveries suggest that plate tectonics has played a critical role in nourishing life on Earth. The findings carry major consequences for the search for life elsewhere in the universe.