apr 192013
 
Three Super-Earths in 'Habitable Zone' Discovered

  NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered two new planetary systems that include three super-Earth-sized planets in the “habitable zone,” the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water. Relative sizes of Kepler habitable zone planets discovered as of April 18, 2013. Left to [continue reading]

apr 042013
 
Finding Some 100 Billion Earth-Like Planets by a New Technique

  Researchers at The University of Auckland have proposed a new method for finding Earth-like planets and they anticipate that the number will be in the order of 100 billion. Most of the discovered extrasolar planets lie within 300 light-years of the Solar System. Image Credit: NASA/JPL The strategy uses a technique called gravitational microlensing, currently [continue reading]

mrt 152013
 
Earth-Sized Planets in Habitable Zones are Rather Common

  The number of potentially habitable planets is greater than previously thought, according to a new analysis by a Penn State researcher, and some of those planets are likely lurking around nearby stars. The graphic shows optimistic and conservative habitable zone boundaries around cool, low mass stars. The numbers indicate the names of known Kepler [continue reading]

feb 212013
 
The Smallest Exoplanet Found So Far!

  NASA’s Kepler mission scientists have discovered a new planetary system that is home to the smallest planet yet found around a star similar to our Sun. The artist’s concept depicts the new planet dubbed Kepler-37b. The planet is slightly larger than our Moon, measuring about one-third the size of Earth. Kepler-37b orbits its host [continue reading]

feb 062013
 
 Earth-like Planets Are Right Next Door!

  Using publicly available data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have found that six percent of red dwarf stars have habitable, Earth-sized planets. Since red dwarfs are the most common stars in our galaxy, the closest Earth-like planet could be just 13 light-years away. This artist’s conception [continue reading]

jan 312013
 
New Definition of Habitable Zones Around Stars

  Researchers searching the galaxy for exoplanets that could pass the litmus test of sustaining water-based life must find whether those planets fall in what’s known as a habitable zone. New work, led by a team of Penn State researchers, will help scientists in that search. A new definition of the habitable zone around stars, [continue reading]