Using a 200 year-old statistical technique, a team of Australian astronomers have concluded that virtually every star in the Milky Way hosts at least one to two terrestrial planets capable of fostering life.
Kepler scientists have discovered the oldest known system of rocky, Earth-sized planets in the Milky Way. This suggests that terrestrial planets have appeared throughout most of the Universe's 13.8 billion year history — a potential indication of just how ancient some extraterrestrial civilizations could be.
Using a new verification technique, Kepler scientists have confirmed the existence of 715 new exoplanets — four of which are located within their star's habitable zone. It's the single largest windfall of new confirmations at any one time.
When it comes to habitability, Earth may not provide the best example. Indeed, astrobiologists are saying we should look for planets that are more hospitable to life than ours — a new class of objects they're calling superhabitable worlds. They even know where we should look.
A team of astrobiologists has redefined conventional notions of where life can exist within a solar system. They've suggested that life could exist inside planets with inhospitable surfaces. Dubbed "subsurface habitable zones," this new definition of habitable zones means that alien life may be far more prevalent than…
A new study has effectively doubled the estimated number of life-friendly planets in orbit around red dwarfs. And remarkably, the astronomers attribute the revised figure to the presence of clouds.
Late last year, Canadian astronomer Philip Gregory made the controversial claim that there are three habitable zone super-Earths orbiting the red dwarf star Gliese 667C. Now, in a separate study, a group of European astronomers are saying he was right.
When we look up into the starry sky at night, we only see a small portion of what's really up there. Red dwarfs comprise nearly 75% of all the stars in the Milky Way, yet they remain invisible to the naked eye. Given their predominance, astronomers and astrobiologists are keen to learn more about these small, cool…