October 20, 2017

05.06.11: Attack of the Rogue Planets?

Do dark worlds abound? (Credit: NASA/Artist’s Concept).

They’re out there, Man… I don’t know why, but Sunday morning our thoughts always turn toward ideas of cosmic death and destruction here at ye’ ole Astroguyz HQ… a recent study published in the journal of Nature suggests a startling possibility; that free-floating gas giant planets may be common in our galaxy; more common, in fact, than stars by a ratio of 2:1 in favor of the dark worlds. [Read more...]

04.02.11: A Gravitational Lensing Exoplanet.

Artist’s rendition of the gravitational lens technique MOA uses to spot exoplanets…(All Images coutesy of the MOA Consortium: Used with Permision).

Amid the sexier transiting exoplanet discoveries released earlier this week by the NASA Kepler team came an exoplanet discovered by a lesser known technique; that of gravitational lensing. MOA, or Microlensing Observations for Astrophysics, is a joint Japan/New Zealand venture looking for dark matter objects passing in front of stars and bending their light via gravitational lensing. First predicted by Einstein and famously observed during the total solar eclipse of 1919, several gravitational lenses are now known and documented in nature, from stellar type objects to massive galaxy clusters. [Read more...]