Astronomers have discovered that the well-studied exoplanet WASP-12b reflects almost no light, making it appear essentially pitch black.
Worlds with a permanent day and night side aren’t obvious places to look in the search for extraterrestrial life. Apart from having extremes of temperature, such planets would make it hard for a biological clock to get going.
Since the mid-1990s, when the first planet around another sun-like star was discovered, astronomers have been amassing what is now a large collection of exoplanets—nearly 3,500 have been confirmed so far.
After NASA announced in February the discovery of a solar system with seven planets—three of which were deemed potentially habitable—UChicago postdoctoral scholar Sebastiaan Krijt began wondering: If a life form existed on one of these planets, could space debris carry it to another?
Ever since enthusiasm started growing over the possibility that there could be a ninth major planet orbiting the sun beyond Neptune, astronomers have been busy hunting it.
Life on an alien planet with two suns in its sky, like Luke Skywalker’s home world Tatooine in the “Star Wars” films, may indeed be possible, a new study suggests.
An Earth-sized planet orbiting a dim star 39 light years away has a hazy atmosphere that could indicate the presence of a “water world”.
The prospect of discovering alien life on any one — or several — of the Trappist-1 planets has captivated the imaginations of the people of Earth since NASA broke the news of the red dwarf star’s treasure trove of Earth-sized worlds, not to mention the fact that three — and later four — of the seven planets were located within the star’s habitable zone. And now, a study has emerged presenting the probability with which alien life might have prospered within the Trappist-1 planetary system through panspermia (that is, moving from world to world via collision and or ejecta transference).
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star.