Living on Earth, without a single other habitable world in eyeshot, can sometimes feel pretty lonely. But our isolation may be the cosmic exception. In fact, it’s possible that throughout the galaxy, life-bearing worlds usually come in pairs. »
Astronomers have measured and mapped a weather system on a planet outside our solar system for the first time, and I’m sad to report that interstellar camping trips maaaay not be so much fun after all. On planet HD 189733b, at least, the winds are blowing at a breathtaking 5,400 miles per hour. »
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… »
With NASA’s Kepler mission still turning up cosmic wonders, and a slew of exoplanet-hunting scopes on deck, the chance of finding a second Earth has never seemed higher. And yet, time may be against us when it comes to meeting our squishy galactic brethren: according to a new theoretical study, 92% of Earth-like… »
This week, the internet worked itself into a frenzy over the possibility that we’ve found an alien megastructure. But whether or not there’s a Dyson sphere buried in the Kepler data, the discovery of a strange, flickering star is very interesting. »
And...it’s literally six seconds of pixelated blob. But before you laugh, know this: Capturing that planetary transit you just witnessed was no easy task. »
If a massive comet struck the Earth, the oceans would boil and the air would catch fire (don’t worry, this isn’t about to happen). But to alien astronomers studying our planet from afar, humanity’s brutal demise would look like nothing more than a faint flicker of light. If we could detect such impacts on distant… »
Naming a planet used to be an honor reserved for the astronomer who discovered it, but these days, we’re finding too many to keep up. Now, the International Astronomical Union has opened the sacred process up to the internet, bless their brave souls. »
Behold the lightest planet ever imaged by a telescope: an extremely young, Jovian-like planet that’s twice the size of Jupiter. Astronomers detected it through visible light, which is an extraordinary feat for a planet of this nature.
NASA’s Kepler Space telescope science team has just announced the discovery of the most Earth-like planet ever. Meet Kepler 452-b, the very first apparently rocky planet that orbits a sun-like star in the habitable zone. »
An international team of astronomers has detected a planet very similar to Jupiter orbiting at the same distance from a Sun-like star. And because the age and chemical composition of this system is similar to our own, it likely features an inner collection of rocky planets. Call it solar system 2.0. »
In studying our Solar System over the course of many centuries, astronomers learned a great deal about the types of planets that exist in our universe. This knowledge has since expanded thanks to the discovery of extrasolar planets, many of which are similar to what we have observed here at home. »
Black Knight is an impossibly black exoplanet, a planet closer to its star than Mercury is to ours and blacker than coal. Today, it passes in front of its sun, and you can watch the transit with astronomers using the world’s largest infrared telescope. »
For the first time ever, astronomers have measured the size and mass of an exoplanet smaller than Earth. »
We hear about discoveries of exoplanets every day. So how long will it take us to find another planet like Earth?
Life on WASP-33b would basically be hell—the titanic exoplanet’s atmosphere ranges in temperature from a searing 6,000 to a comparatively balmy 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. But hey, at least you wouldn’t have to bring sunblock. »