An Earth-Sized Neighbor May Be the Most Important Exoplanet Yet

Astronomers have discovered a rocky, Earth-sized planet 39 light years from home—right in our cosmic backyard. With a surface temperature of 440 degrees Fahrenheit, GJ 1132b is more of an intergalactic furnace than a vacation prospect. Yet some are hailing it “the most important planet ever found outside our solar… »11/11/15 6:00pm11/11/15 6:00pm


Tatooine-Like Planets May Be More Common Than We Thought

For decades, astronomers have assumed that Earth-like planets cannot form around binary stars on account of wacky gravitational effects. Which, for Star Wars fans, was a total downer. But a new study suggests that not only is the formation of Tatooine-like planets very much possible, they may actually be quite common. »4/01/15 3:11pm4/01/15 3:11pm

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 11:00am1/27/15 11:00am

It's going to be harder to find habitable Earth-like worlds than we thought.

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 2:40pm7/25/14 2:40pm

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

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 12:00pm2/07/13 12:00pm

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

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 10:00am12/27/12 10:00am