Astronomers discover an Earth-sized “pi planet” with a 3.14-day orbit

The rocky world, with its baking-hot surface, is likely not habitable.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
Sept. 21, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: astronomy exoplanets research stars tess school-of-science algorithms kavli-institute planetary-science space-astronomy-and-planetary-science eaps

Astronomers may have found a signature of life on Venus

Evidence indicates phosphine, a gas associated with living organisms, is present in the habitable region of Venus’ atmosphere.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
Sept. 14, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: physics astrophysics astronomy research school-of-science kavli-institute planetary-science space-astronomy-and-planetary-science eaps

Lava oceans may not explain the brightness of some hot super-Earths

By making their own lava and cooled glass, scientists find these materials likely aren’t responsible for the unexpected glow of some exoplanets.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
Aug. 4, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space astronomy exoplanets research school-of-engineering school-of-science kavli-institute planetary-science eaps and-planetary-science

Study: A plunge in incoming sunlight may have triggered “Snowball Earths”

Findings also suggest exoplanets lying within habitable zones may be susceptible to ice ages.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
July 29, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: mathematics exoplanets geology climate-change environment climate research school-of-science planetary-science eaps earth-and-atmospheric-sciences

Study sheds light on the evolution of the earliest dinosaurs

Geological evidence suggests the known dinosaur groups diverged early on, supporting the traditional dinosaur family tree.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
July 29, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: evolution geology research school-of-science national-science-foundation-nsf eaps earth-and-atmospheric-sciences

An origin story for a family of oddball meteorites

Study suggests the rare objects likely came from an early planetesimal with a magnetic core.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
July 24, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: space astronomy geology nasa research school-of-science planetary-science eaps astronomy-and-planetary-science

TESS mission discovers massive ice giant

Neptune-sized planet may be remnant core of a much larger planet.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
July 1, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: astrophysics space astronomy exoplanets nasa research school-of-science planetary-science satellites eaps astronomy-and-planetary-science

Ice, ice, maybe

EAPS graduate student Meghana Ranganathan zooms into the microstructure of ice streams to better understand the impacts of climate change.

Laura Carter | School of Science • mit
June 17, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: climate-change global-warming graduate profile research students school-of-science eaps postdoctoral

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