Astro Blog articles for exoplanets

A new era of astronomy: Construction of the 39m Extremely Large Telescope dome & main structure officially starts

Posted: 30 May 2017

On Friday 26th May 2017, a major milestone in construction of the world’s largest visible and infrared telescope, the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), was reached.

Could we detect life... on Earth?

Posted: 02 Sep 2014

What might Earth look like to an alien living 10 light years away? We're assuming he or she has access to a decent space telescope, of course.

BOOM! The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) project starts with a blast!

Posted: 07 Jul 2014

On Thursday 19th June 2014 at ~18:45 BST, an explosion high in the Atacama desert in Northern Chile marked the beginning of construction of what will be the largest optical & infrared telescope in the World. The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), built by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), will be sited at a high and dry peak on Cerro Armazones, some 20 km away from ESO's Paranal Observatory.

The weird world GJ 1214b: an update

Posted: 12 Mar 2014

GJ 1214b orbiting its host star: Artist's impression of GJ 1214b in orbit. Credit: NASA, ESA, and D. Aguilar (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics))Almost two years ago, I wrote this post about the weird and wonderful super-Earth planet, GJ 1214b. Like its compatriots it doesn't have an especially exciting name, but this is one of the best-studied planets orbiting another star.

Exoplanet GJ1214b: What a wonderful world!

Posted: 06 Jul 2012

The field of extra-solar planet research is still a young one, but progress over the last few years has been startling. Now that we've found hundreds of exoplanets, the time is ripe to start asking interesting questions about what their atmospheres are like, says Jo Barstow.

Stargazing Oxford: Thinking Big

Posted: 17 Jan 2012

Stargazing Oxford is more than just a local astronomy fair - it will represent what we at Oxford Astrophysics are all about. Think big: come and explore the Universe from the Denys Wilkinson Building!

Kepler-22b: What you need to know

Posted: 10 Dec 2011

The media is abuzz with news of the discovery of Kepler-22b, an exoplanet that might possibly bear some resemblance to the Earth. This is an exciting result, but have we really found Earth’s twin? Along with two of our resident exoplanet experts, Suzanne Aigrain (who was present at NASA’s announcement of the discovery) and Neale Gibson, we’ve compiled an “essential guide” to our newfound sibling.

Kepler-22b: What you need to know

Posted: 10 Dec 2011

The media is abuzz with news of the discovery of Kepler-22b, an exoplanet that might possibly bear some resemblance to the Earth. This is an exciting result, but have we really found Earth’s twin? Along with two of our resident exoplanet experts, Suzanne Aigrain (who was present at NASA’s announcement of the discovery) and Neale Gibson, we’ve compiled an “essential guide” to our newfound sibling.

Astro News: 25th November 2011

Posted: 25 Nov 2011

This week brought news of the 700th confirmed exoplanet, the potential resurrection of an unfortunate Mars mission, and a beautiful timelapse video of Earth taken from the International Space Station.