What makes a planet habitable

Which of Earth's features were essential for the origin and sustenance of life? And how do scientists identify those features on other worlds?

Anxiety abounds at NASA as Mars landing day arrives

A NASA spacecraft's six-month journey to Mars neared its dramatic grand finale Monday in what scientists and engineers hoped would be a soft precision landing on flat red plains.

How life could help atmospheric tides slow a planet's rotation

Resonating oscillations of a planet's atmosphere caused by gravitational tides and heating from its star could prevent a planet's rotation from steadily slowing over time, according to new research by Caleb Scharf, who is ...

Iron and titanium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet

Exoplanets, planets in other solar systems, can orbit very close to their host stars. When the host star is much hotter than the sun, the exoplanet becomes as hot as a star. The hottest "ultra-hot" planet was discovered last ...

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