New Scale Pinpoints Most Life-Friendly Alien Planets 


Researchers at the University of Washington’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory have devised a new habitability index for judging how suitable alien planets might be for life. The point of the exercise is to help scientists prioritize future targets for close-ups from NASA’s yet-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope »10/06/15 6:15pm10/06/15 6:15pm

Jupiter May Have Destroyed The Solar System's First Planets

It is becoming increasingly obvious that our Solar System — with its inner collection of small rocky planets and an outer region buffeted by gas planets — is quite uncommon. According to a remarkable new study, the reason may have to do with Jupiter and an ancient migratory journey that kickstarted the destruction of… »3/24/15 11:00am3/24/15 11:00am

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

Astrobiologists can now add a new term to their lexicon: The Venus Zone.

Astrobiologists can now add a new term to their lexicon: The Venus Zone. It describes the area around a star in which a planet is likely to exhibit the inhospitable hell-like conditions found on the planet Venus. The concept will help astronomers determine which exoplanets are more analogous to Earth, and thus… »9/11/14 7:40pm9/11/14 7:40pm

We've Found A Hidden Ocean On Enceladus That May Harbor Life

It's turning out that the outer reaches of the solar system may be more hospitable to life than we ever imagined. Gravity measurements made by Cassini have confirmed that Enceladus, a tiny moon orbiting Saturn, hosts a subsurface ocean in its southern latitudes. Astronomers are now saying it's potentially habitable. »4/03/14 2:00pm4/03/14 2:00pm