Exoplanets

Displaying 1 - 20 of 58 articles

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?
Except for a few blue foreground stars, the stars are part of the Milky Way’s nuclear star cluster, the most massive and densest star cluster in our galaxy. NASA, ESA, and Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA, Acknowledgment: T. Do, A.Ghez (UCLA), V. Bajaj (STScI)

Hidden stars, baby planets and blowup spaceships

Each fortnight I get the amazing opportunity to speak about my top stories in space on ABC Breakfast News TV but for those of you who hate early mornings I wanted to make sure you got to hear of these…
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.
Artist’s impression: Looking back 12.9-billion km towards the sun and the inner solar system from Sedna, one of the recently discovered minor planets in the Kuiper belt. NASA, ESA and Adolf Schaller

The long hunt for new objects in our expanding solar system

The search for new objects, including new planets, in our solar system has turned up some interesting finds. There have been a few failures over the years too.
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.
Is this what we’re seeing around KIC 8462852 - a colossal megastructure built by alien intelligence? Probably not. The reality might be even more interesting. Kevin Gill/Flickr

Whatever the strangest star in the galaxy is, it’s sure to be amazing

There's a lot of speculation about a star behaving strangely in our galaxy. But even if it's not evidence of alien intelligence, it's sure to be an amazing discovery.
Looking for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Flickr/Asbjorn Sorensen Poulsen

The search for ET has been going on for years: so what do we know so far?

Astronomers have been looking for signs of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe for centuries. But the search has so far found nothing. So what makes this latest hunt so different?

Top contributors

More