Colossal Cometary Collisions in Beta Pictoris

The massive carbon monoxide clouds observed in the Beta Pictoris planetary system are just weird. The star's ultraviolet light breaks down the gas within a century, so massive Mars-sized comets need to be constantly colliding to supply new gas. » 4/07/14 11:11am 4/07/14 11:11am

Kepler is a planet-hunting powerhouse

Kepler is the plucky little spacecraft that taught us that planets are everywhere. It captured the imagination of farmers, citizen-scientists, and astronomers alike. This is the story of Kepler: a celebration of turning the theories of planetary science upside-down. » 3/14/14 11:40am 3/14/14 11:40am

NASA to Expand its Search for Earth-like Planets

The search for Earth 2.0 just got more serious. NASA has teamed up with MIT scientists to expand the search for planets beyond our solar system. The mission's primary goal: identify terrestrial planets in the habitable zone of their parent stars – the region surrounding a star where it is possible for a planet to… » 4/09/13 9:10am 4/09/13 9:10am

Here are 160 billion reasons to be excited about the search for…

We used to think our planet was unique, but discoveries by planet-hunting missions like Kepler continue to indicate that the the odds of Earth being one-of-a-kind are incredibly slim. Now, findings published in today's issue of Nature suggest that there are far more planets in our galaxy that we ever imagined: » 1/12/12 3:40pm 1/12/12 3:40pm

These tiny, charred planets dove inside their dying star...and survived

Just days after the first Earth-sized exoplanets were discovered, we find two more planets that are even smaller - but they weren't always like that. These pint-sized worlds are remnants of gas giants, the lone survivors of a dead star. » 12/22/11 11:20am 12/22/11 11:20am