All Articles with the Category: Exoplanets and Planetary Science

NASA’s TESS mission finds ‘missing link’ planets

NASA’s newest planet-hunting satellite has discovered a type of planet missing from our own solar system. Launched in 2018 , the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, has found three new worlds around a neighboring star. Stephen Kane, a UC Riverside associate professor of planetary astrophysics, says the new star system, called TESS Object of...

Campus to celebrate 50th anniversary of historic Moon landing

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 Moon mission. To celebrate, the University of California, Riverside, is hosting a free public event on Thursday, July 11, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about the Apollo 11 legacy, as well as current missions to our solar-system’s planets...

Star tours

Astronomers have a new tool in their search for extraterrestrial life – a sophisticated bot that helps identify stars hosting planets similar to Jupiter and Saturn. These giant planets’ faraway twins may protect life in other solar systems, but they aren’t bright enough to be viewed directly. Scientists find them based on properties they can...

New study dramatically narrows the search for advanced life in the universe

"RVERSIDE, CA – Scientists may need to rethink their estimates for how many planets outside our solar system could host a rich diversity of life. In a new study, a UC Riverside–led team discovered that a buildup of toxic gases in the atmospheres of most planets makes them unfit for complex life as we know...

Meteor magnets in outer space

"Astronomers believe planets like Jupiter shield us from space objects that would otherwise slam into Earth. Now they’re closer to learning whether giant planets act as guardians of solar systems elsewhere in the galaxy. A UCR-led team has discovered two Jupiter-sized planets about 150 light years away from Earth that could reveal whether life is...

Omega Centauri Unlikely to Harbor Life

"Forthcoming in The Astrophysical Journal, the study was led by Stephen Kane , an associate professor of planetary astrophysics in UCR’s Department of Earth Sciences and a pioneer in the search for habitable planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets. Sarah Deveny, a graduate student at San Francisco State who is working with Kane,...

UCR Team Among Scientists Developing Guidebook for Finding Life Beyond Earth

"If you’re looking for a manual on the hunt for alien life, you’re in luck. Some of the leading experts in the field, including a UC Riverside team of researchers, have written a major series of review papers on the past, present, and future of the search for life on other planets. Published in Astrobiology,...

Search for Life Beyond the Solar System Topic of Faculty Research Lecture

" Timothy Lyons , a distinguished professor of biogeochemistry in the Department of Earth Sciences and director of the Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center, will deliver the 66th annual Faculty Research Lecture at UC Riverside. The Faculty Research Lecturer Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Academic Senate." Read More

UC Riverside's 'Alternative Earths' Team Selected to Join the NASA Astrobiology Institute

"If we’re looking at Mars, or planets in solar systems far, far away, how can we tell whether they support life? Researchers at the University of California, Riverside will share a $50 million grant from the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) to help answer that question by studying ancient rocks on Earth to determine how oxygen...
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