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 Breaks The 1,000-Planet Barrier With More Confirmed Discoveries

The Kepler Space Telescope has found over 1,000 confirmed exoplanets. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Kepler is a planet-hunting powerhouse. Even more impressive? Kepler is already finding new candidates after whirling around to its new view for the continuing mission last month. » 1/07/15 3:04am 1/07/15 3:04am

Don't Sleep On The Reissue Of Kilian Eng's Stunning Art Book Object 5

Swedish illustrator Kilian Eng does the kind of mindblowing science fiction artwork that looks like concept art for the greatest movie you've ever seen. And his first book collection, the sold-out Object 5, is coming back in a bigger format, with nicer versions of his incredible illustrations. » 1/06/15 1:40pm 1/06/15 1:40pm

Over-Hyped, Misunderstood, Or Retracted Space Science From This Year

It's been a good year for science with all sorts of awe-inspiring, beautiful, or weird discoveries. But not every story survived the followup. Here's the space science stories that fell apart under scrutiny, faded on reconsideration, or didn't make sense from the start. » 12/31/14 3:55pm 12/31/14 3:55pm

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 12/18/14 10:40am

Can We Spot Rocky, Sun-Squished Planets?

In 1954, a high school physics teacher wrote a science fiction story set on a highly oblate exoplanet, one so squished the gravity varied dramatically from equator to pole. Now researchers are contemplating how to detect such bizarre, alien worlds in our ever-expanding search for exoplanets. » 12/15/14 7:34pm 12/15/14 7:34pm

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