2016-2017 NExScI News and Press Releases

For previous years' news items, see the 2001-2009, 2010-2011, 2012-2013, 2014-2015 and news archives.

February 2016: New Look for NExScI Website

NExScI is pleased to roll out a new look for its website. Most pages have been updated however links to older format pages remain live.

April 7, 2016: Mass, Age, and Composition of a Brown Dwarf Revealed

NASA Keck PI Justin Crepp (Univ. of Notre Dame) is the first author on a paper that calculates the mass of a brown dwarf (HD 4747 B) directly using observations of its orbit. These direct measurements will provide a testbed to help refine brown dwarf models. Read the press release here. NExScI manages NASA's portion of time on the Keck telescopes.

July 18, 2016: K2 Discovers 100+ New Planets

Sagan Fellow Ian Crossfield is the lead author on a paper describing a treasure trove of new worlds discovered using NASA's Kepler spacecraft on its K2 mission. Read all about it here.

October 18, 2016: Cloudy Nights, Sunny Days on Distant Hot Jupiters

Sagan Fellow Vivien Parmentier is the lead author on a paper that combined Kepler data with computer models to infer global cloud patterns on these distant worlds for the first time. Read all about it here.

October 21, 2016: Heartbeat Stars

Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow Avi Shporer is lead author on a paper that measured the orbits of 19 heartbeat star systems, the largest batch ever characterized in a single study. Read all about it here.

March 29, 2017: NASA Announces Astronomy and Astrophysics Fellows for 2017

Read about the three new Sagan Fellows who will be joining the NASA named fellowship class of 2017.

May 4, 2017: 2017 R. M. Petrie Prize awarded to NExScI Executive Director, Dr. Charles Beichman

Dr. Beichman has been awarded the 2017 R. M. Petrie Prize by the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) in honor of his incredible career contributions to the study of extrasolar planetary systems.

October 26, 2017: Comets Outside Our Solar System

NASA Sagan Fellow Andrew Vanderburg of UT Austin, is part of a team that has spotted the tails of 6 exocomets, marking the first time that objects this small have been inferred using transit photometry.

December 14, 2017: Another 8 Planet System

NASA Sagan Fellow Andrew Vanderburg of UT Austin and Chris Shallue of Google used machine learning to find an eighth planet around a Sun-like star 2,545 light years away.