exoplanets

Pulse and planet

For the first time, astronomers from MIT and elsewhere have observed a star pulsing in response to its orbiting planet. The star, which goes by the name HAT-P-2, is about 400 light years from Earth…


Dance of the exoplanets

Less than 130 light-years from Earth — a mere stone’s throw away as things are measured in the cosmic scale — lies a young star named HR 8799. Although perhaps unremarkable in an objective sense,…


On the lookout for ET

A group of researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the University of Tokyo, and the Astrobiology Center among others has observed the transit of a potentially Earth-like extrasolar planet known as K2-3d…


Exoplanets and microlensing

Microlensing is a bit of a forgotten relative of observational exoplanet science — we hear about transit and radial velocity planets all the time, and direct imaging is intuitively simple and makes pretty pictures, so…


Listen to Tabby’s Star

Tabby’s star has provoked so much excitement over the past year, with speculation that it hosts a highly advanced civilization capable of building orbiting megastructures to capture the star’s energy, that UC Berkeley’s Breakthrough Listen…


Just wait 12 years to look at Alpha Centauri

A very rare gravitational lensing event, set to occur in 2028, has been predicted by a team of French astronomers led by Pierre Kervella of the CNRS/Universidad de Chile. It will provide an ideal opportunity…


Not for coffee aficionados: what does ESPRESSO mean?

More power to look at exoplanets and their atmospheres. For the first time, starlight from one of the Unit Telescopes (UT) that make up ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has been successfully channelled 60 metres…