Two teams of astronomers used a technique for finding extrasolar planets to directly measure one such planet. The approach could allow the study of more exoplanets' atmospheres than ever before.
Using a ground-based telescope to probe exoplanet atmospheres, which were visible only when illuminated by stars, scientists say they hope to study much cooler planets.
The Kepler spacecraft has detected a pair of extrasolar planets with orbits so close that at times the larger planet looms more than twice the size of the full moon in the second planet's night sky.
Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 is now poised to become the first craft to enter interstellar space.
Venus's 2012 transit across the sun will let researchers test methods for observing Earth-like planets light years away. It's an opportunity that won't be available again until December 2117.
The survey found there are likely 4,700 potentially hazardous asteroids in orbits that occasionally bring them close enough to Earth to pose a concern.
Data from the orbiter DAWN confirm theories about the history of Vesta, which dates to the early days of planet formation. The protoplanet is also home to the solar system's second largest mountain.
The humongous asteroid Vesta is actually a protoplanet left over from the early days of our solar system, new observations from a NASA space probe suggest.
'Hot Jupiters' are Jupiter-mass planets orbiting close to stars. A study suggests that they might have been kicked inward from their original orbit, destroying or ejecting other planets.
The ESA has given the go-ahead for a solar-powered space probe that will examine the icy Jovian moons of Ganymede and Europa, along with Jupiter's upper atmosphere.