A New Calculation Predicts Hundreds Of Billions Of Earth-Like Planets

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. » 2/05/15 9:30am 2/05/15 9:30am

Freakishly Old System Of Planets Hint At Ancient Alien Civilizations

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. » 1/27/15 8:00am 1/27/15 8:00am

Kepler Has Spotted Two Of The Most Earth-Like Planets Yet

The amazing Kepler Space Telescope has now catalogued over 1,000 exoplanets. Among them are eight new planets located within habitable zones, including two that astronomers say are the most Earth-like planets yet. Here's what we know about Kepler-438b and Kepler-442b.
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It's going to be harder to find habitable Earth-like worlds than we thought. An analysis of three hot Jupiters yielded only 1/10 to 1/1000 the amount of water predicted by models. This means our planetary formation theories are incomplete — and that we should expect to see lower water abundances on potentially… » 7/25/14 11:40am 7/25/14 11:40am

This Potentially Habitable Super-Earth Is Just 16 Light Years Away

An international team of astronomers has announced the discovery of a potentially-habitable Super-Earth around the nearby red dwarf star Gliese 832. Located 16 light-years from Earth, it's considered one of the closest and best habitable-world candidates so far. » 6/25/14 2:20pm 6/25/14 2:20pm

Astronomers Discover the "Mega Earth," an Entirely New Type of Planet

Meet the "Mega Earth." Described today by astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, this ancient rocky world weighs 17 times as much as Earth — which is a big surprise considering that rocky, solid planets aren't supposed to get that huge. » 6/02/14 11:14am 6/02/14 11:14am

Exoplanets Close to Earth's Size Are Surprisingly Common

A recently-finished study of Kepler data is providing a new glimpse into the Milky Way's exoplanetary composition. Planets about one to four times the size of Earth appear to be typical around Sun-like stars. But researchers say we don't know yet whether they have the potential to harbour life. » 5/27/14 12:08pm 5/27/14 12:08pm

Astronomers discover an Earth-sized planet with an 8.5 hour year

Researchers from MIT have located a lava-filled world about 700 light-years away that's 40 times closer to its star than Mercury is to our sun. It's considered one of the shortest orbital periods known to science. » 8/19/13 2:41pm 8/19/13 2:41pm

4.5 Billion Potentially Habitable Planets May Orbit Red Dwarfs In Our…

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… » 2/07/13 9:00am 2/07/13 9:00am

Astronomer says all those Earth-like planets we're discovering are…

The past 12 months has seen a dramatic influx in announcements proclaiming the discovery of Earth-like planets. It was only a few years ago that the detection of any kind exoplanet was cause for celebration, but these days news of a potentially habitable planet has become routine. But as astronomer and astrobiologist… » 12/27/12 7:00am 12/27/12 7:00am

Earth-sized planets might be a dime a dozen

A new study estimates that one in four sun-like stars have Earth-sized planets — far more than previously thought. It challenges current theories on how planets form, and may mean a greater chance of finding habitable worlds. » 10/29/10 2:00pm 10/29/10 2:00pm