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Category: exoplanets

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Dwarf Planetary Systems Will Transform the Hunt for Alien Life

Written speculation about life beyond the confines of Earth dates back thousands of years, to the time of the Greek philosophers Epicurus and Democritus. Unrecorded curiosity about this question undoubtedly goes back much further still. Remarkably, today’s generation seems about to get an answer from the study of exoplanets — planets orbiting other stars than […]

The Solar System’s 9 Oceans Beyond Earth in One Remarkable Infographic

From time to time, the Singularity Hub editorial team unearths a gem from the archives and wants to share it all over again. It’s usually a piece that was popular back then and we think is still relevant now. This is one of those articles. It was originally published April 10, 2015. We hope you enjoy it!  When scientists looked at Mars through early telescopes, they saw a fuzzy, rust-colored globe scored by mysterious dark gashes some believed were… read more

Are There Other Intelligent Civilizations Out There? Two Views on the Fermi Paradox

Scientists have now discovered a few thousand planets orbiting other stars and, based on these observations, believe there may be as many as 8.8 billion potentially habitable Earth-sized planets in the Milky Way alone. Include stars smaller than the sun and that number increases to 40 billion potentially habitable Earth-like planets. Some take these observations as an indicator we couldn’t possibly be the only technologically advanced civilization in existence—others wonder why we haven’t heard from… read more

‘Ultracool’ Dwarf Star Hosts Three Potentially Habitable Earth-Sized Planets Just 40 Light-Years Away

The search for Earth-like planets — and life — beyond the solar system has long been the stuff of science fiction and fantasy. But today’s ground and space telescopes, high-precision instruments and advanced analysis techniques have made this search an active area of real scientific research. Hundreds of terrestrial worlds have been found over the past several years, including a handful at the right distance from their host star to have conditions amenable to liquid water on their rocky surfaces. Astronomers focus on planets in these “habitable zones” in the search for life beyond Earth. Now for the first time, our international… read more

Are We Alone in the Universe? The $100 Million Search for an Answer

In the past six years, we have discovered some 1,030 planets circling distant stars, a number of which are in the “habitable zone” (i.e., not too cold, not too hot…able to… read more

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Detecting Alien Planets With Your ‘Run-of-the-Mill’ Digital Camera

Astronomy is no stranger to citizen scientists. Amateur stargazers are credited with the discovery of comets, asteroids, and even planets. That said, while amateurs don’t use multi-million dollar observatories, it’s… read more