Gas Giant

  • Astronomers have captured the first clear images of a colossal moon-forming debris disk orbiting a distant alien planet. According to the authors of the new study, the disk has enough material to create three satellites the size of Earth’s Moon.
  • Scientists have recreated in the lab some of the wild weather that might be found on Jupiter and Saturn. Using extremely high pressures and laser shock waves, the researchers produced helium rain which has been hypothesized to fall on these planets.
  • Jupiter’s Great Red Spot may be stealing energy from the smaller storms that careen into it on a regular basis. These dramatic interactions had previously seemed to be damaging the iconic atmospheric feature, but may instead be helping it survive.
  • WASP-107b was already a very weird exoplanet, with the density of cotton candy. On closer inspection, astronomers have now found that its density is even lower than previously thought, defying our current understanding of how gas giants even form.
  • Astronomers have discovered the intact, exposed core of a gas giant locked in a close orbit around a Sun-like star. The discovery will give astronomers a rare opportunity to probe the heart of an ancient alien world.
  • Scientists have discovered a massive planet evaporating as it orbits the remains of a Sun-like star. This is the first time evidence of a huge planet orbiting a white dwarf has been observed, and it could help reveal the fate of our own solar system.
  • An international team of physicists has finally found proof of circumplanetary disks, adding substantial weight to current theoretical models of planet formation. These disks of gas surrounded by dust have eluded detection, until now.
  • ​Scientists may have discovered large amounts of water hidden deep beneath the surface of Jupiter’s famous Great Red Spot. The discovery, which was made using ground-based telescopes, opens up the possibility that extremophile lifeforms could exist in the atmosphere of the enigmatic gas giant.
  • According to a new study, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (GRS) is growing taller as the storm’s perimeter continues to shrink. The GRS is a colossal swirling storm that has been raging continuously on Jupiter’s cloud surface since its discovery in 1831.
  • Exoplanets are a constant source of surprise and wonder, and now astronomers have noticed something strange about a gas giant called WASP-19b. In the upper atmosphere of this “hot Jupiter” sits a layer of titanium oxide, which has flipped the usual atmospheric temperature structure on its head.
  • NASA's Cassini spacecraft is now less than 18 days from its fateful encounter with Saturn's atmosphere, which will mark a dramatic end to one of the most successful and inspiring planetary exploration missions to date. NASA has now laid out the final week of Cassini's historic mission.
  • ​A massive storm bigger than the Earth has been raging for centuries on Jupiter, and now Juno is swooping in for a closer look. It will come within a few thousand miles of the Great Red Spot, probing the storm to hopefully reveal some of its mysteries, and snap some stunning photos in the process.
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