Research News at Penn State's Eberly College of Science
- First Earth-Size Planet Is Discovered in Another Star's "Habitable Zone"
- 17 April 2014 — A team of astronomers that includes Penn State scientists has discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery was made with NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. The discovery of this Earth-size planet, now named Kepler-186f, confirms -- for the first time -- that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our Sun.
- The Most Precise Measurement Yet of the Expanding Universe Is Achieved by Astronomers of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
- 07 April 2014 — Astronomers at Penn State University and other institutions participating in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey have used 140,000 distant quasars to measure the expansion rate of the universe when it was only one-quarter of its present age. This measurement is the best yet of the expansion rate at any epoch in the last 13 billion years during the history of the universe. Measuring the expansion rate of the universe over its entire history is key to determining the nature of the dark energy that is responsible for causing this expansion rate to increase during the most recent six billion years.
- WISE Satellite Finds No Evidence for Planet X in Survey of the Sky
- 07 March 2014 — After searching hundreds of millions of objects across the sky, NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has turned up no evidence of the hypothesized celestial body in our solar system commonly called "Planet X," according to published scientific papers including a new study in The Astrophysical Journal authored by Kevin Luhman of the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds at Penn State University.