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

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

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

Citizen scientists spot closest young brown dwarf disk yet

Discovery made through the Disk Detective project could help the search for new planets.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
June 2, 2020 ~8 min

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

Study: Life might survive, and thrive, in a hydrogen world

When searching for extraterrestrial life, astronomers may want to look at planets with hydrogen-rich atmospheres.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
May 4, 2020 ~9 min

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


TESS discovers its first Earth-sized planet

Orbiting a nearby star, the new planet is the smallest identified so far by the TESS mission.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
April 16, 2019 ~6 min

Tags: astrophysics space astronomy exoplanets nasa research school-of-science aeronautical-and-astronautical-engineering kavli-institute planetary-science satellites eaps astronomy-and-planetary-science

Robert Simcoe named director of MIT Kavli Institute

An expert in instrumentation and early universe observations, Simcoe succeeds Jacqueline Hewitt as head of MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research.

School of Science • mit
Jan. 10, 2019 ~3 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space astronomy exoplanets leadership nasa research school-of-science faculty kavli-institute administration and-planetary-science

Jacqueline Hewitt to step down as director of the MIT Kavli Institute

Physics professor brought leadership, resources, and an intellectual focus to the MIT astrophysics faculty and research staff during 15 years at the helm.

Julia C. Keller | School of Science • mit
Nov. 29, 2018 ~7 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space exoplanets leadership nasa research tess school-of-science faculty kavli-institute ligo astronomy-and-planetary-science

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