Alien Life Could Be Island Hopping Between TRAPPIST-1 Planets

The TRAPPIST-1 system has totally entranced Earthlings since NASA announced its discovery last month. For both astronomers and tinfoil hat believers (*raises hand*), TRAPPIST-1 is a sign of hope for finding alien life, since three of its planets are located in the habitable zone which supports liquid water. With water comes life, and with life comes alien conspiracy theories—at least that’s the idea. Read More >>

Here’s Our First Glorious View of the TRAPPIST-1 Star System

Last month, the solar system lost its collective chill when NASA announced the discovery of a seven-planet system called TRAPPIST-1, just 39 light-years from our Sun. The system is particularly exciting, not only because of its proximity to our planet, but because it has three planets within the habitable zone, where liquid water (and potentially life) could be supported. There’s already a website dedicated to these mysterious planets, filled with stunning art and literal fan fiction. In short, TRAPPIST-1 is already getting the One Direction treatment. Read More >>

The Prospects for Life on TRAPPIST-1 Keep Getting Better

Less than a week ago, the citizens of Earth were introduced (technically, re-introduced) to a star system 39 light years away hosting seven Earth-sized exoplanets, three of which lie squarely in the habitable zone. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, researchers are now suggesting that a fourth of the TRAPPIST-1 planets might be habitable, too—if we stretch our imaginations a bit. Read More >>

The Hunt For the Next Exoplanet Could Be in the Hands of EVE Online Players

It’s a big week for exoplanets. Not only did NASA confirm that it has spotted seven exoplanets that have Earth-like qualities orbiting TRAPPIST-1, but the makers of the popular massively multiplayer game EVE Online have announced a crowdsourcing effort to get players to identify exoplanets while they explore virtual space. Read More >>

An Enormous Exoplanet Is Having a Strange Influence on Its Star

There’s a star about 370 light-years from here that’s pulsating in response to its unusually heavy planetary companion. It’s the first time that astronomers have seen this sort of interaction between a planet and its host star. Read More >>

Scientists Need Your Help Discovering the Next Exoplanet

Calling all space cadets: Today, a group of researchers led by the Carnegie Institute of Science released an impressive database containing 61,000 so-called Doppler velocity measurements of 1,600 nearby stars. The team is graciously inviting you to use their data to find the next exoplanet. Go forth and become drunk with power. Read More >>

We’re Sorry About This Seriously Bummer Proxima B News

Bad news if you’re looking to ditch this planet for another one far, far away. According to new research from NASA, planets in the habitable zone in red dwarf star systems—including much-hyped exoplanet Proxima b—might lose too much oxygen to support liquid water, and therefore, life. Goddammit. Read More >>

We Finally Know How These Exoplanets Get So Freakishly Big

“Hot Jupiters” aren’t particularly sexy exoplanets — just clingy ones. These gas giants orbit tightly around their host stars, and despite their name, they’re typically more massive than Jupiter. And, as you’d expect, much hotter. Read More >>

Incredible Animations Show Real Exoplanets Orbiting Their Stars

Scientists have detected thousands of exoplanets in recent years, by catching dips in light as they orbit their parent stars. These days, finding new ones isn’t usually such a big deal. But taking direct images of exoplanets, and turning them into videos so we can watch their orbits, makes these faraway worlds a little more real. Read More >>

Alien Planets Have No Respect for Their Moons

Though NASA has confirmed 3,440 planets outside our solar system, no one has ever been able to confirm an exomoon. While we know they’re out there, huddling around their respective planets, new research could clue us into why we haven’t been able to find one yet—and it could be because their planets are arsesholes. Read More >>

Scientists Are Searching For Life On This Nearby Exoplanet

With all this talk about human colonies on Mars, why not dream a little bigger? Dr. Stephen Kane and his team of researchers at San Francisco State University are looking about 14 lightyears away from our solar system for some potentially inhabitable real estate. Read More >>

It Rains Rubies and Sapphires on This Distant Jupiter-Like Planet

A Jupiter-like planet located 1,000 light-years from Earth is exhibiting some rather strange meteorological behaviour. The clouds on this planet appear to be made from corundum — the same mineral that produces rubies and sapphires. Read More >>

The Surprising Reason Why This ‘Saturn on Steroids’ Could Actually Exist

A few years ago, astronomers discovered a bizarre object in orbit around a distant star. Preliminary research suggested an exoplanet with an oversized ring system roughly 200 times larger than Saturn’s. Researchers have now proven that this dramatic celestial structure is indeed possible—but for it to work, the rings need to spin in the wrong direction. Read More >>

proxima centauri
Meet Proxima Centauri, Home to Our Newest Exoplanet

It’s been an exciting week for planet hunters with the discovery of the nearest exoplanet yet found, orbiting a star called Proxima Centauri. Now you can get a closer look at that star system, courtesy of the robotic telescope service Slooh. Read More >>

New Earth-Like Exoplanet Could Be Discovery of the Century

In what’s being hailed as one of the biggest astronomical discoveries of the century, scientists with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) today confirmed the discovery of an Earth-like exoplanet in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri—our nearest neighbouring star. Details of the team’s discovery were just published in Nature. Read More >>