In what’s being hailed as one of the biggest astronomical discoveries of the century, scientists with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) today confirmed the discovery of an Earth-like exoplanet in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri—our nearest neighboring star. Details of the team’s discovery were just…
Rumors are flying that astronomers at the European Southern Observatory have discovered an Earth-like exoplanet in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, our nearest neighboring star. If confirmed, this is undeniably one of the biggest astronomical discoveries of the century.
If you could hop in a time-traveling spacecraft, go back three billion years and land any place in our solar system, where would you want to end up? Earth, with its barren continents and unbreathable atmosphere? Or Mars, a chillier version its big brother? Wait, what about Venus?
Kepler has given us a stash of thousands of exoplanets. Now, researchers have pulled twenty from that stash that they say are the most likely to be habitable.
So far, the only examples of sentient life we’ve found are right here on our own planet. It’s not for lack of trying, though—we’ve sent out spacecraft deep into our solar system and, so far, still remain alone. What if the problem isn’t where we are looking, though, but when?
Exoplanets are all the rage nowadays thanks in part to Kepler’s discovery of around 1,284 previously undiscovered planets and our never-ending fascination with the “final frontier” that just seems to be moving closer to a reality. But out of the thousands of planets that we know of, how many are set to support life?
Three hundred and twenty light years away in the Centaurus constellation sits one of the strangest planets humans have ever laid eyes on. It’s four times as massive as Jupiter and orbits twice as far out as Pluto—around one of its three suns.
Since the 1960s, the Drake Equation has been used to predict how many communicative extraterrestrial civilizations exist in the Milky Way galaxy. Along these same lines, a new formula seeks to estimate the frequency at which life emerges on a planet—a calculation that might allow us to figure out the likelihood of…
See that tiny speck just to left of the bluish orb? That’s a planet. It’s one of the best direct images of an exoplanet we’ve ever seen, and it’s made all the more remarkable given that it’s a whopping 1,200 light-years away.
If a massive solar storm struck the Earth today, it could wipe out our technology and hurl us back to the dark ages. Lucky for us, events like this are quite rare. But four billion years ago, extreme space weather was probably the norm. And rather than bringing the apocalypse, it might have kickstarted life.
In a few billion years, the oceans will boil away and the atmosphere will burn up as our sun expands into a red giant. It’ll be game-over for life on Earth, but in the outer solar system, the party will just be getting started. Europa and Enceladus will melt into ocean moons, offering a refuge for any post humanoid…
In a universe full of planets, 2007 OR10 is something special. It’s big, just slightly smaller than the size of Pluto. And it’s close, within our very own solar system. So how did it still manage to take astronomers by surprise?
Wait, you thought the Kepler Space Telescope was dead? Think again. Today, NASA’s Kepler team announced the discovery of a whopping 1,284 new planets—the largest number of exoplanets ever reported at once. Kepler’s latest haul nearly doubles the number of confirmed planets beyond our solar system, bringing the total…
In a few years, powerful new telescopes will usher in a search for habitable worlds outside our solar system. And TRAPPIST-1—a dim, tepid star just a smidge larger than Jupiter—is one of the first places we’ll look. It’s only forty light years away, and it’s home to several promising, Earth-sized exoplanets.
After causing a minor panic when it went into Emergency Mode two weeks ago, the Kepler Space Telescope is back to doing science. As of 11:30 ET today, it’s continuing the search for planets beyond our solar system.
University archives are treasure troves of historic information, but it’s not every day they produce scientific discoveries. But now, a 1917 astronomical glass plate from the Cargenie Observatory’s collection is offering the oldest evidence for a planet orbiting another star—besting the first confirmed exoplanet…
For the first time, astronomers have discovered a class of exoplanets whose atmospheres have been seared away by heat, removing any doubts about what happens when a rocky object wanders too close to a star.
NASA’S Kepler Space telescope might have gotten a new lease on life in 2014 when scientists figured out how to repurpose the damaged telescope, but it now appears that it’s in trouble once again.
A new computer simulation shows that alien worlds with super salty oceans may be even more hospitable to life than ours—a finding that could influence the search for extraterrestrial life.