A Planet In The Dreaded "Rotisserie" Alignment Could Still Support Life

One of the criteria for the habitability of exoplanets is their obliquity—the angle of the axis relative to the orbit around a star. Current thinking holds that the more extreme the tilt, the less likely the possibility of life. But MIT researchers suggest one notable exception: a world completely covered by water. » 12/18/14 10:40am Thursday 10:40am

The First Exoplanets Were Discovered In 1917—But Nobody Realized It

When astronomers found two planets orbiting a pulsar in 1992, it was considered the first definitive detection of planets outside our solar system. But new research reveals that, nearly a century ago, a young astronomer discovered evidence of an extrasolar planetary system — he just never realized it at the time. » 10/22/14 7:40am 10/22/14 7:40am

Which Religions Would Have The Hardest Time Accepting Alien Life?

The list of known planets beyond our solar system is ever-growing. To many, this suggests the day when scientists detect signs of extraterrestrial life could soon be at hand. When that day comes, which religions will struggle to reconcile such a discovery with their beliefs – and which will adapt in stride? » 10/17/14 3:40pm 10/17/14 3:40pm

Newly Announced Super-Earth May Be The Closest Exoplanet Discovered Yet

Gliese15Ab is a newly discovered planet roughly five times the mass of Earth. Researchers aren't sure what the planet's atmosphere is like, and it's close enough to its parent star to heat it past the boiling point of water. But the most interesting thing about Gliese 15Ab isn't how close it is to its star. It's how… » 8/29/14 9:45am 8/29/14 9:45am

You Are Now Officially Invited to Nominate Names for Exoplanets

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), which oversees planetary nomenclature, today invited the public to submit and vote on names for recently discovered exoplanets and their parent stars. Anyone wanting to see a planet named "Gallifrey" or "Waist-Deep Cats" – today is the day you've been waiting for. » 7/09/14 10:31am 7/09/14 10:31am