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Experiment Shows Some Life Can Survive in Exoplanet-Like Conditions

Single-celled organisms like Escherichia coli and yeast can grow and survive in an atmosphere like the kind theorised to exist on many rocky exoplanets, according to a new paper. Read More >>

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Vanishing Exoplanet Might Actually Be the Aftermath of a ‘Supercatastrophic’ Collision

A known exoplanet has disappeared from sight, prompting speculation among astronomers that it was never a planet in the first place and is instead the shattered remnants of a celestial smash-up. Read More >>

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Astronomers See Glimmers of a Second World Circling the Nearest Star to the Sun

A team of astronomers shocked the world back in 2016 when they revealed evidence of an Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone of our nearest stellar neighbour, a star called Proxima Centauri. Scientists are hunting for a second planet in this system – and maybe, maybe, they’ve found something. Read More >>

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Potentially Habitable Earth-Sized Exoplanet Spotted in the Kepler Reject Pile

For years, a dedicated team of experts has manually sifted through troves of rejected Kepler data in hopes of finding something the computers had missed – an exercise that has resulted in the discovery of what is now arguably the most Earth-like planet known to astronomers. Read More >>

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It Could Rain Iron on This Hellish Exoplanet

Don’t forget to bring your sturdiest umbrella when you travel to the extra-hot planet WASP-76b, where it may literally rain molten iron. Read More >>

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Hydrogen Molecules on Hottest Known Exoplanet Are Being Ripped to Shreds

Astronomers have documented a bizarre cycle of molecular destruction and rebirth on an ultra-hot, Jupiter-like exoplanet where surface temperatures exceed 4,000 degrees Celsius. Read More >>

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This Exoplanet-Shredding White Dwarf May Foretell the End of Our Solar System

Scientists have discovered evidence of a star system that might foreshadow the fate of our own. Read More >>

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Astronomers Have a New Way to Spot Earth-Like Worlds With Atmospheres

A new method might tell scientists whether or not a rocky exoplanet – the kind of exoplanet most similar to Earth – has an atmosphere. Read More >>

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Wild New Theory Blames a Disintegrating Moon for Star’s Mysterious Dimming

Of the nearly 1 million stars chronicled by the Kepler telescope, few have captured as much attention as KIC 8462852, otherwise known as Boyajian’s Star. New research suggests its sporadic dimming is not caused by swarms of comets or an alien megastructure, but rather an abandoned exomoon caught in the throes of annihilation. Read More >>

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Water Vapour Detected in the Atmosphere of a Potentially Habitable Super-Earth

For the first time ever, astronomers have detected water vapour in the atmosphere of a rocky exoplanet. Intriguingly, the planet is in the so-called habitable zone of its star, making it one of the most promising places in the galaxy to look for signs of extraterrestrial life. Read More >>

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This Rugby Ball-Shaped Planet is Leaking Heavy Metal

This hot Jupiter is so close to its host star that gravitational forces are squeezing it into a rugby ball-like shape. Not only that, its temperatures are so extreme that heavy metal gases are escaping into space from the exoplanet’s atmosphere – a phenomenon never seen before until now. Read More >>

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This Could Be the Most Earth-Like Exoplanet Discovered Yet

Scientists have discovered a pair of temperate, Earth-sized exoplanet candidates around a nearby star, according to a new paper. What makes this planetary system stand out from all the others discovered in recent years is just how similar one of its planets may be to Earth. Read More >>

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New Campaign Is Asking Every Country on Earth to Name Distant Worlds

A new campaign headed by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) called IAU100 NameExoWorlds will allow each country in the world to name a star and its exoplanet, the IAU announced on Thursday. Read More >>

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Astronomers Spy Three Comets Circling a Nearby Star

NASA’s exoplanet-hunting TESS spacecraft has spotted three comets orbiting a star 64 light-years away, according to a new paper. Read More >>

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Water Worlds Could Have Mind-Bogglingly Deep Oceans, New Models Suggest

Scientists have good reason to believe that so-called water worlds—exoplanets with surfaces covered entirely by a single gigantic ocean—are common in the galaxy. But a new computer simulations suggests that not only are water worlds prevalent, they’re also teeming with water—and at mind-boggling scales. Imagine oceans that are hundreds, and even thousands, of kilometres deep. Read More >>