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2018-2020 NExScI News and Press Releases

For previous years' news items, see the 2001-2009, 2010-2011, 2012-2013, 2014-2015 and 2016-2017 news archives.


July 13, 2020 AI Predicts Which Planetary Systems Will Survive

Why don't planets collide more often? How do planetary systems organize themselves? "Separating the stable from the unstable configurations turns out to be a fascinating and brutally hard problem,"" says Daniel Tamayo, a NASA Hubble Fellowship Program Sagan Fellow.

April 17, 2020 Congratulations to CHEOPS on their first exoplanet transit light curve!

ESA's CHEOPS mission has already obtained it's first exoplanet light curve of Kelt 11b. Existing data on Kelt 11b can be found in the NASA Exoplanet Archive and the Exoplanet Follow-up Observing Program (ExoFOP), both hosted at NExScI.

March 25, 2020 NASA Awards Prize Postdoctoral Fellowships for 2020

NASA has selected 24 new Fellows for its prestigious NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (NHFP). The program enables outstanding postdoctoral scientists to pursue independent research in any area of NASA Astrophysics, using theory, observation, experimentation, or instrument development. Each fellowship provides the awardee up to three years of support at a university or research center of their choosing in the United States.

March 25, 2020 Distant Giant Planets Form Differently than Failed Stars

A team of astronomers led by Brendan Bowler (UT Austin) used NASA Keck time to probe the formation process of giant exoplanets and brown dwarfs.

January 8, 2020 NEID First Light

The first observations were recently taken with the NASA/NSF NEID instrument that will help scientists measure the masses of exoplanets by observing the gravitational pull they exert on their parent stars. NEID observations will be processed at NExScI, which will also host the resulting data archive.

October 9, 2019 Exoplanet Researchers Win a Nobel Prize!

It's been an exciting week for exoplanet research, with two astronomers awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their 1995 discovery of 51 Pegasi b, the first planet observed to orbit a Sun-like star. This discovery launched a new field of astronomical exploration that continues to this day.

June 13, 2019 4000 Exoplanets Milestone Reached!

NASA's Exoplanet Archive announced 31 newly confirmed planets, pushing the count past 4000. The public was invited to imagine what the 4,000th confirmed planet could look like.

April 4, 2019 NASA Awards 2019 Postdoctoral Fellowships

NASA has selected 24 new Fellows for its prestigious NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (NHFP). The program enables outstanding postdoctoral scientists to pursue independent research in any area of NASA Astrophysics, using theory, observation, experimentation, or instrument development.

January 11, 2018: Citizen Scientists Discover Five-Planet System

Caltech/IPAC-NExScI staff scientist Jessie Christiansen is part of a team that developed the Exoplanet Explorers citizen science project. Citizen scientists, working in collaboration with Christiansen and other astronomers, recently discovered a 5-planet system in K2 mission data. Read more about how citizen scientists are discovering exoplanets!

April 3, 2018: NASA Announces Class of 2018 Sagan, Hubble, and Einstein Postdoctoral Fellows

NASA is pleased to introduce the 2018 class of Sagan, Hubble, and Einstein Postdoctoral Fellows under the NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (NHFP). The Fellows are named to one of three sub-categories corresponding to NASA's "big questions:"

How does the Universe work? How did we get here? Are we alone? Meet the class here!

August 14, 2018: NExScI Astronomer Wins 2018 Robert J. Trumpler Award

BJ Fulton, a NExScI staff scientist, is being honored with the 2018 Robert J. Trumpler Award - an honor bestowed by the Astronomical Society for the Pacific (ASP) to the recipient of a "PhD degree in North America whose research is considered unusually important to astronomy."

October 30, 2018: NASA Retires Kepler Spacecraft

After nine years of collecting data that indicate our sky is filled with billions of hidden planets, NASA's Kepler space telescope has run out of fuel. Kepler leaves a legacy of more than 2,600 planet discoveries from outside our solar system, many of which could be promising places for life. Data from the Kepler spacecraft will continue to be mined for years to come.