Artist illustration of an exoplanet.
dottedhippo/iStock via Getty Images
Billions of galaxies are in the universe, with billions of stars in every galaxy. Could billions of planets be out there too?
A planet in a triple-star system has been discovered.
Publicly available data and collaborations between scientists have led to the discovery of a planet in a triple-star system.
Artist impression of KELT-9 b, the orange blob orbiting a blue star.
The hottest exoplanet known so far has metals in its atmosphere – something scientists thought would be impossible.
Artist’s impression of CHEOPS in orbit above Earth. In this view the satellite’s telescope cover is closed.
ESA / ATG medialab
The primary objective of CHEOPS is to better understand the planets that we’ve already found. And its mission is now in full swing.
An artist’s conception of WASP-18b, a giant exoplanet that orbits very close to its star.
X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/I.Pillitteri et al; Optical: DSS
Sometimes it is difficult to take a photograph of an exoplanet because the star illuminating it is too bright. Now there is a new ‘deluminator’ telescope that can block out the extra light.
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) successfully launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9.
The new planet-hunting telescope TESS was successfully launched today by NASA, and Australia will play a key role in checking out any new worlds it discovers.
Imagined view from Kepler-10b, a planet that orbits one of the 150,000 stars that the Kepler spacecraft is monitoring.
NASA/Kepler Mission/Dana Berry
When NASA first started planning the Kepler mission, no one knew if the universe held any planets outside our solar system. Thousands of exoplanets later, the search enters a new phase as Kepler retires.
Artist impression of Kepler-90i, the eighth planet discovered orbiting around Kepler-90.
Google’s artificial intelligence has been taught to look for planets around other stars. It’s already making new discoveries that scientists have missed.
Artist’s rendition of one of the billions of rocky exoplanets in our galaxy.
Did life once exist on its surface?
Complex life may be rare in the universe because most planets become either too hot or too cold before life has a chance to get a foothold. This might explain why we have yet to bump into E.T.
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.
Great Comet of 1577, which Kepler witnessed as a child.
When Kepler was at the very height of his scientific career, his mother was accused of witchcraft.
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.
A new exoplanet has been discovered that is a lot like Earth.
Kepler 78b is a lot like Earth…if Earth was on fire.
Two papers were published today in Nature, each independently revealing that a planet discovered by the Kepler mission is the closest thing we’ve found yet to another Earth. But don’t pack your bags just…
Two of Kepler’s four reaction wheels have stopped working, which may mean the end for the spacecraft.
NASA/Kepler mission/Wendy Stenzel
As I write this, engineers at NASA and Ball Aerospace & Technologies have their fingers crossed they’ll be able to restart the stricken Kepler space observatory, which has been in hibernation mode…
Many exoplanets have been found, but there’s plenty left to uncover.
Over the past few months, NASA’s Kepler mission has repeatedly made headlines with announcements of new and unusual planetary systems around other stars. To name a few, we’ve had the most densely packed…
What’s so special about the latest big discovery by NASA’s Kepler?
On Monday, to much fanfare, astronomers working with the Kepler space observatory (which was launched in March 2009) announced their first discovery of a planet orbiting within the “habitable zone” of…
Are we getting closer to solving one of life’s greatest mysteries?
During a lunch in the summer of 1950, physicists Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller and Herbert York were chatting about a recent New Yorker cartoon depicting aliens abducting trash cans in flying saucers. Suddenly…
Hundreds of exoplanets have been discovered, but are we any closer to finding life?
In the late 1980s, when I was a young whipper-snapper just starting out as an astronomer, it was quite obvious some fields had an incredibly high profile and others were outré. The sexy ideas at the time…