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Content Marked with: Stephen Kane

Newly discovered planet survived the death of its star

An international team of astronomers has reported what may be the first example of an intact planet closely orbiting a white dwarf, a dense leftover of a sun-like star that’s only 40% bigger than Earth. The discovery is unique because stars usually destroy nearby planets as they begin to die. “We know of many white...

Newly discovered planet zips around baby star in a week

Understanding how planets form is one of the main challenges scientists face when placing our own and other planetary systems in context. Planets are thought to form from the disk-shaped clouds of gas and dust that surround newborn stars, but this process has never been observed. Astronomers normally only observe planets after they have already...

Surprising number of exoplanets could host life

Our solar system has one habitable planet — Earth. A new study shows other stars could have as many as seven Earth-like planets in the absence of a gas giant like Jupiter. This is the conclusion of a study led by UC Riverside astrobiologist Stephen Kane published this week in the Astronomical Journal. The search...

The most spectacular celestial vision you’ll never see

Contrary to previous thought, a gigantic planet in wild orbit does not preclude the presence of an Earth-like planet in the same solar system – or life on that planet. What’s more, the view from that Earth-like planet as its giant neighbor moves past would be unlike anything it is possible to view in our...

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 Interest...

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...

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, co-authored...
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