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]

nov 142012
 
Mystery Dust Around a Dead Star with a Close Companion Found

  Astronomers using data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, have discovered dust in an unusual place–just outside the reach of a binary star system with a short 3-hour orbit. The binary consists of a white dwarf with a red dwarf companion separated by a distance slightly larger than the radius of the [continue reading]

sep 022012
 
A Hot Potential Habitable Exoplanet around Gliese 163

  The detection of Earth-like worlds is pacing up A new superterran exoplanet (aka Super-Earth) was found in the stellar habitable zone of the red dwarf star Gliese 163 by the European HARPS team. The planet, Gliese 163c, has a minimum mass of 6.9 Earth masses and takes nearly 26 days to orbit its star. [continue reading]

jul 212012
 
Five Potential Habitable Exoplanets Now

  New data suggest the confirmation of the exoplanet Gliese 581g and the best candidate so far of a potential habitable exoplanet. The nearby star Gliese 581 is well known for having four planets with the outermost planet, Gliese 581d, already suspected habitable. This will be the first time evidence for any two potential habitable [continue reading]

jul 052012
 
'Impossible' Binary Stars Discovered

  A team of astronomers have used the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) on Hawaii to discover four pairs of stars that orbit each other in less than 4 hours. Until now it was thought that such close-in binary stars could not exist. The new discoveries come from the telescope’s Wide Field Camera (WFCAM) Transit [continue reading]

apr 282012
 
Astronomers find a new habitable exoplanet

Astronomers have discovered their “holy grail” – a planet capable of supporting life outside our solar system. The planet lies in what they describe as a ‘habitable zone’, neither too near its sun to dry out or too far away which freezes it. And the discovery could help answer the question of whether we are alone [continue reading]