Imagined view from the surface of one of the newly discovered planets, with ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 in the background.
We don't need to look for Earth-like planets exclusively around Sun-like stars. Tiny, dim TRAPPIST-1 has only 11 percent the diameter of the Sun and is much redder.
A laser could hide – or broadcast – our existence.
European Southern Observatory
There are technological ways to hide a planet from intergalactic detection – as well as ways to signal that we're just sitting here, eager for contact.
The plan to use lasers to send mini-spaceships to the stars.
It's an ambitious plan to send a micro-spaceship to our stellar neighbour but is this possible with today's technology or even technology in the near future?
Alpha Centauri is actually the outer star (bottom right) of The Pointers, which point to the Southern Cross.
Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO
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)
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…
Planets orbiting a red dwarf, much like Krypton’s star Rao.
It could be orbiting LHS 2520.
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.
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.
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 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.
Artist’s depiction of the newly discovered Jupiter-like planet orbiting the star HD 32963.
Jupiter had a big influence on how our solar system's planets formed. New research – led by a high school student – tried to nail down how rare Jupiter analogs really are in other planetary systems.
Could this ever happen between close planetary neighbours?
New research gives a clue about what happens when there are two habitable worlds in the same solar system.
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)
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.
Gliese Cc: Artist’s impression of sunset on one of the most Earth-like exoplanets.
Is there another Earth out there? Certainly, there are a few contenders
Recent Martian findings are just the latest discoveries of aurora on other planets, both in and out of our solar system.
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.
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.
Five science (fiction) reasons why you should get to know Doctor Who.
Artist’s conception of the young exoplanet 51 Eridani b.
Danielle Futselaar & Franck Marchis, SETI Institute
Studying the young, Jupiter-sized planet 51 Eridani b opens a window into our solar system's past.
Who goes there? It’s very unlikely humans ever will, for sure.
HD 219134 b may not be a catchy name - but our new planetary neighbour deserves just as much attention as Earth's cousin, Kepler-452 b.
Goddard Space Flight Centre
Nimble and cheap commercial science could be the way to get more eyes in the sky.
Looking for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.
Flickr/Asbjorn Sorensen Poulsen
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?