Astronomy What We're Reading 

What We’re Reading: The Planet Factory

Title: The Planet Factory Shared by: Amanda Alvarez for, a Science Connected publication Author: Elizabeth Tasker Publisher: Bloomsbury Sigma On sale: Sept. 7, 2017 in UK; Nov. 7, 2017 in USA Best for: Enthusiastic 17-plus-year-olds, readers interested in popular science and space URL: Exo is the new black The Planet Factory is a guide to real-life Tatooines, planets made of diamonds, and possible Earth twins. Since the 1995 discovery of the first planet outside the solar system, exoplanetology has become one of the most in-vogue scientific fields, and…

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planet orbiting two suns Astronomy 

Asimov versus Reality: Multi-Sun System Discovery

By Luigi Papagno Recently, the planet HD 131399Ab was discovered by a team of astronomers at the University of Arizona. HD 131399Ab is located approximately 320 light-years from Earth and is thought to be 16 million years old—a very young exoplanet indeed. It is also one of the coldest and smallest of the directly imaged exoplanets—planets outside our Solar System—with a temperature of 850 degrees Kelvin and a size of around 4 Jupiter masses. However, the most spectacular thing about HD 131399Ab is not its planetary features, but rather the…

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Pluto Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI Astronomy 

New Horizon’s Pluto Flyby

NASA’s spacecraft New Horizons entered its closest approach with Pluto yesterday, as part of its nine-year mission to study the last of the nine “classical” planets in our solar system. Later today, we will receive the first “phone home” communication from the spacecraft. Here on Earth, scientists are eagerly awaiting today’s transmission from New Horizons. One of them is Noemi Pinilla-Alonso, an astrophysicist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and formerly of NASA. Our friends at ResearchGate recently chatted with Pinilla-Alonso about her hopes and plans for the long-awaited data.…

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