How common are terrestrial, habitable planets around sun-like stars?
Once again news from the Kepler mission is making the rounds, this time with a research paper outlining a theory that Earth-like planets may be more common around class F, G and K stars than originally expected.
NASA's next Mars rover will advance hunt for past life
The next robotic rover to explore Mars in 2020 should scour the surface of the red planet more closely than ever for signs of past life, a NASA science team said Tuesday.
Hot super-Earths help track water-rich atmospheres
As the discovery of planets beyond the Solar System becomes more common, scientists have begun the in-depth study of the atmospheres of these bodies.
Astronomer confirms a new "Super-Earth" planet
A University of British Columbia astronomer is a key player in the discovery of a new exoplanet, out beyond our solar system.
Stellar makeup impacts habitable zone evolution
(Phys.org)—A star's internal chemistry can doom a planet's life long before the star itself dies.
Magnetic fields are crucial to exomoon habitability
Astronomers believe that hidden deep within the wealth of data collected by NASA's Kepler mission are minuscule signatures confirming the presence of exomoons. With such a promising discovery on the horizon, ...
Pulverized planet dust might lie around double stars
(PhysOrg.com) -- Tight double-star systems might not be the best places for life to spring up, according to a new study using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The infrared observatory spotted a surprisingly ...
Some giant planets in other systems most likely to be alone
In the search for Earth-like planets, it is helpful to look for clues and patterns that can help scientist narrow down the types of systems where potentially habitable planets are likely to be discovered. ...
A hot potential habitable exoplanet around Gliese 163
A new superterran exoplanet (aka Super-Earth) was found in the stellar habitable zone of the red dwarf star Gliese 163 by the European HARPS team. The planet, Gliese 163c, has a minimum mass of 6.9 Earth ...
Life may be harder to identify on some exoplanets
Finding life on exoplanets may be more difficult than people thought, said Feng Tian, a professor at the Center for Earth System Science at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. The report was presented last week to the ...
The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia counted 548 confirmed extrasolar planets at 6 May 2011, while the NASA Star and Exoplanet Database (updated weekly) was today reporting 535. These are confirmed findings ...
(PhysOrg.com) -- The "habitable zone" is the region around a star where a suitable planet could sustain the conditions necessary for life. Most astronomers take it to be the region where the balance between ...
Once again, Kepler is reshaping our understanding of planets
This has been a good year for Kepler, NASA's planet-hunting satellite telescope.
Tidal locking could render habitable planets inhospitable
Tidally-locked planets - planets with one side perpetually facing their star while the other remains shrouded in darkness - tend to be warmer on one side than the other. The presence of an atmosphere can help ...