'Explore Mars' group wants to build instrument seeking subsurface red planet life
Not-for-profit group Explore Mars has a new IndieGoGo campaign that could see an instrument, ExoLance, head to the Red Planet to burrow for subsurface life. The first stage will be to raise money to build the ...
Robotic rock climbers could uncover clues to Mars' past
A robot that can scale the faces of steep cliffs might one day help explore Mars and find signs of life. The latest experiments with this "Cliffbot" showed it could help examine places otherwise difficult ...
Oxygen-creating instrument selected to fly on the upcoming Mars 2020 mission
Whenever the first NASA astronauts arrive on Mars, they will likely have MIT to thank for the oxygen they breathe—and for the oxygen needed to burn rocket fuel that will launch them back home to Earth.
Companion planets can increase old worlds' chance at life
(Phys.org) —Having a companion in old age is good for people—and, it turns out, might extend the chance for life on certain Earth-sized planets in the cosmos as well.
Young binary star system may form planets with weird and wild orbits
Unlike our solitary Sun, most stars form in binary pairs—two stars that orbit a common center of mass. Though remarkably plentiful, binaries pose a number of questions, including how and where planets form ...
Highest-precision measurement of water in planet outside the solar system
A team of astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have gone looking for water vapour in the atmospheres of three planets orbiting stars similar to the Sun – and have come up nearly dry.
Video: The diversity of habitable zones and the planets
The field of exoplanets has rapidly expanded from the exclusivity of exoplanet detection to include exoplanet characterization. A key step towards this characterization is the determination of which planets occupy the Habitable ...
NEOWISE spots a comet that looked like an asteroid
Comet C/2013 UQ4 (Catalina) has been observed by NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spacecraft just one day after passing through its closest approach to the sun. The comet ...
Image: Kaleidoscopic view of Mars
Astrophotographer Leo Aerts from Belgium took advantage of the recent opposition of Mars and captured the Red Planet both "coming and going" in this montage of images taken from October 2013 to June of 2014. ...
Transiting exoplanet with longest known year
Astronomers have discovered a transiting exoplanet with the longest known year. Kepler-421b circles its star once every 704 days. In comparison, Mars orbits our Sun once every 780 days. Most of the 1,800-plus ...
Study shows oceans vital for possibility for alien life
Researchers at the University of East Anglia have made an important step in the race to discover whether other planets could develop and sustain life.
Is our solar system weird?
Is our Solar System normal? Or is it weird? How does the Solar System fit within the strange star systems we've discovered in the Milky Way so far?
Fingerprinting the formation of giant planets
A team of Brazilian and American astronomers used CFHT observations of the system 16 Cygni to discover evidence of how giant planets like Jupiter form.
Peering into giant planets from in and out of this world
Lawrence Livermore scientists for the first time have experimentally re-created the conditions that exist deep inside giant planets, such as Jupiter, Uranus and many of the planets recently discovered outside ...