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The Five Most Earth-Like Exoplanets (So Far)

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read that the “first Earth-like exoplanet” has been discovered. With nearly 2000 exoplanets found to date, it is no wonder so many of them will resemble our planet in some way. But which exoplanets are similar enough to the Earth that they could actually be habitable?

This Is The First Time We've Witnessed A Planet Forming

Four and a half billion years ago, a whirling cloud of cosmic dust condensed into the lump of rock we call home. For the first time, astronomers are now watching that same planet-forming process playing out around a distant star.

This Visualisation Shows The Astonishing Diversity Of Alien Worlds

Slovak graphic designer Martin Vargic has pieced together a rather meticulous visualisation showing over 500 exoplanets discovered by astronomers as of October 2015. Like snowflakes, it shows that no two planets are the same.

The Closest Exoplanet To Earth Was Probably A Ghost

When the exoplanet Alpha Centauri Bb was announced in Nature in 2012, it was hailed a watershed moment in the search for Earth-like worlds beyond our solar system. But as eerie as it sounds, it now appears that Alpha Centauri Bb never existed.

Aliens Or Not, There's Still A Lot To Discover In NASA's Kepler Data

This week, the internet worked itself into a frenzy over the possibility that we’ve found an alien megastructure. But whether or not there’s a Dyson sphere buried in the Kepler data, the discovery of a strange, flickering star is very interesting.

Astronomers Want To Watch Comets Slam Into Distant Planets

If a massive comet struck the Earth, the oceans would boil and the air would catch fire (don’t worry, this isn’t about to happen). But to alien astronomers studying our planet from afar, humanity’s brutal demise would look like nothing more than a faint flicker of light. If we could detect such impacts on distant worlds, we might learn a lot about their star systems.

Here Are All The Planets You Can Now Vote To Name

Naming a planet used to be an honour reserved for the astronomer who discovered it, but these days, we’re finding too many to keep up. Now, the International Astronomical Union has opened the sacred process up to the internet, bless their brave souls.

Is Earth's Closest Cousin A Dying Planet?

Last week, the human race met its very first Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star in the habitable zone. Kepler-452b’s discovery was met with resounding excitement, but the news was bittersweet. Because life on this distant world — if it exists at all — could be facing imminent extinction.

Why It Is Misleading To Compare Exoplanet Kepler-452b To Earth

NASA’s announcement of the discovery of a new extrasolar planet has been met with a lot of excitement. But the truth is that it is impossible to judge whether it is similar to Earth with the few parameters we have – it might just as well resemble Venus, or something entirely different.

This Is The Most Earth-Like Planet Ever Discovered

NASA’s Kepler Space telescope science team has just announced the discovery of the most Earth-like planet ever. Meet Kepler 452-b, the very first apparently rocky planet that definitively orbits a sun-like star in the habitable zone.

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