Unexpected element found in atmosphere of hot exoplanets

Sign up for CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news on fascinating discoveries, scientific advancements and more. CNN — Astronomers have spotted an unexpected chemical element high within the atmosphere of two sizzling exoplanets where liquid iron and gems rain down from the skies. The two exoplanets, which orbit separate stars beyond … Read more

‘Super earths’ may be even more habitable than our own planet, study says

‘Super earths’ outside our solar system that are rich in hydrogen or helium may be even more habitable than our own planet, a new study suggests. Researchers say rocky exoplanets with atmospheres dominated by hydrogen and helium have surfaces warm enough to host liquid water. The presence of liquid water is ‘favorable for life’, so … Read more

NASA discovers two rocky ‘super-Earths’ orbiting a nearby dwarf star

The discovery of at least two rocky ‘super-Earths’ orbiting a nearby dwarf star could provide vital clues in the search for extra-terrestrials, astronomers say. While the worlds are unlikely to be habitable for life as we know it, the star and its exoplanets are among the closest multi-world systems to Earth, at just 33 light-years … Read more

‘Super Earth’ exoplanet four times bigger than our planet is discovered

Meet Ross 508b: Scientists discover a ‘SUPER EARTH’ exoplanet four times bigger than our own planet orbiting a star 36.5 light-years away New ‘super Earth’ that is four times bigger than our own planet has been spotted The exoplanet, named Ross 508b, is orbiting a star that is 36.5 light-years away Previous research suggests the … Read more

Lava-covered and airless super-Earths are the first targets of NASA’s James Webb Telescope

A super-Earth covered in oceans of lava and another exoplanet that is completely airless have been chosen as the first targets of NASA‘s James Webb Telescope. One of the planets, known as 55 Cancri e, has surface temperatures reaching 4,400°F (2,400°C) – far above the melting point of typical rock-forming minerals. The day side is … Read more