Searching for life in our galaxy may have just gotten a little harder

Let's say you're a planetary scientist searching for signs of life on other worlds, and you happen upon an exoplanet whose atmosphere contains a large proportion of oxygen. Jackpot, right? Not exactly. New research shows planets orbiting red dwarf stars may harbor signatures of life (like oxygen) that are actually… » 10/11/13 4:40pm 10/11/13 4:40pm

4.5 Billion Potentially Habitable Planets May Orbit Red Dwarfs In Our…

When we look up into the starry sky at night, we only see a small portion of what's really up there. Red dwarfs comprise nearly 75% of all the stars in the Milky Way, yet they remain invisible to the naked eye. Given their predominance, astronomers and astrobiologists are keen to learn more about these small, cool… » 2/07/13 9:00am 2/07/13 9:00am

Astronomers discover binary stars in 'impossibly' tight orbits

A team of scientists using the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii have found four different pairs of binary systems whose stars are so close to each other that it takes them less than four hours to orbit one another. Previous estimates indicated that stars shouldn't be allowed to do this — they… » 7/06/12 5:00pm 7/06/12 5:00pm