Planet

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planet : any of the large bodies that revolve around a star — Webster

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Planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that

is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity,
is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and
has cleared its neighbouring region of planetesimals.

The term planet is ancient, with ties to history, astrology, science, mythology, and religion. Several planets in the Solar System can be seen with the naked eye. These were regarded by many early cultures as divine, or as emissaries of deities. As scientific knowledge advanced, human perception of the planets changed, incorporating a number of disparate objects. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) officially adopted a resolution defining planets within the Solar System. This definition is controversial because it excludes many objects of planetary mass based on where or what they orbit. Although eight of the planetary bodies discovered before 1950 remain “planets” under the modern definition, some celestial bodies, such as Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta (each an object in the solar asteroid belt), and Pluto (the first trans-Neptunian object discovered), that were once considered planets by the scientific community, are no longer viewed as such. — Wikipedia

David Darling’s Internet Encyclopedia of Science, Britannica

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Extrasolar Planets News -- ScienceDaily Extrasolar Planet News. Astronomers discover extrasolar planets in a nearby star system. Could extrasolar planets support life? Images, full-text articles. Free.

  • Nearly 80 exoplanet candidates identified in...
    on June 21, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Scientists have analyzed data from K2, the follow-up mission to NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, and have discovered a trove of possible exoplanets amid some 50,000 stars. The scientists report the discovery of nearly 80 new planetary candidates, including a particular standout: a likely planet that orbits the star HD 73344, which would be the brightest planet host ever discovered by the K2 mission. […]

  • Hunting molecules to find new planets
    on June 18, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    It's been impossible to obtain images of an exoplanet, so dazzling is the light of its star. However, astronomers have the idea of detecting molecules that are present in the planet's atmosphere in order to make it visible, provided that these same molecules are absent from its star. Thanks to this innovative technique, the device is sensitive to the selected molecules, making the star invisible and allowing the astronomers to observe the planet. […]

  • Distant moons may harbor life
    on June 15, 2018 at 1:36 am

    Researchers have identified more than 100 giant planets that potentially host moons capable of supporting life. Their work will guide the design of future telescopes that can detect these potential moons and look for tell-tale signs of life, called biosignatures, in their atmospheres. […]

  • Trio of infant planets discovered around newborn...
    on June 13, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Two independent teams of astronomers have uncovered convincing evidence that three young planets are in orbit around an infant star known as HD 163296. Using a new planet-finding strategy, the astronomers identified three discrete disturbances in a young star's gas-filled disk: the strongest evidence yet that newly formed planets are in orbit there. […]

  • Multiple alkali metals in unique exoplanet
    on June 7, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Scientists have observed a rare gaseous planet, with partly clear skies, and strong signatures of alkali metals in its atmosphere. […]