Articles on Exoplanet

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An artists’s impression of how common planets are around the stars in the Milky Way. ESO/M. Kornmesser

Explainer: How to find an exoplanet (part 2)

A look at some of the more obscure methods astronomers use to detect planets around other stars, in the second of a two-part series on finding world's elsewhere in the universe.
In the Exoplanet Era, we are learning that planets abound in the cosmos. ESO/M. Kornmesser

Explainer: How to find an exoplanet (part 1)

Astronomers have discovered more than 3,000 planets around other stars, so far. In the first of a two-part series we look at how they find world's elsewhere in the universe.
Alpha Centauri is actually the outer star (bottom right) of The Pointers, which point to the Southern Cross. Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO

Is Alpha Centauri the right place to search for life elsewhere?

A US$100-million plan has been announced to send tiny probes out in space in search of life elsewhere in the universe. But are they looking in the right place?
An artist’s illustration of Kappa Ceti whose stellar winds are 50 times stronger than our sun’s. Any Earth-like planet would need a magnetic field to protect its atmosphere if it was to stand a chance of hosting life. M. Weiss/CfA

What the ‘weather’ is like on a star can help in the search for life

In the search for life on other planets in the universe we need to find the right kind of star, and it needs to have the right kind of space weather.
If you’re looking for life, you’d do well to look for some moons. Maxwell Hamilton

Eying exomoons in the search for E.T.

As the list of known planets beyond our solar system grows, the search for their moons is intensifying. One reason: they might hold the key to finding life elsewhere in the universe.
The light shining through an exoplanet’s atmosphere can give us a hint of whether the planet supports life. NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

Cloudy with a chance of life: how to find alien life on distant exoplanets

A hint of oxygen and a whiff of methane in a distant exoplanet's atmosphere may be the first evidence we discover of alien life.
The Kepler satellite discovers exoplanets by measuring the light drop from a star when a planet moves in front of it. Maths can uncover many more exoplanets. Australian National University and the Niels Bohr Institute

Alien worlds: most stars have planets in the habitable zone

The search for life on other planets gets a boost thanks to an old calculation that found Uranus in our solar system.

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