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How Astronomers Will Solve The 'Alien Megastructure' Mystery 

KIC 8462852 has quickly become one of the biggest astronomical mysteries of the decade. It will be months before we have any firm answers on this fitfully flickering star, but astronomers intend to get to the bottom of it. How?


Kepler May Be The Most Productive Broken Telescope Ever

The Kepler spacecraft came roaring back into the news last week, when scientists announced that the plucky little planet hunter had unearthed hundreds of new exoplanets in our cosmic backyard, despite being literally broken. But that’s not all Kepler’s been up to — by a long shot.


Kepler Has Uncovered A Trove Of New Planets In Our Cosmic Backyard

If you thought the Kepler spacecraft’s glory days were over, think again. This week at the 227th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, astronomers announced a whopping 234 new exoplanet candidates discovered by Kepler in 2014. The best part? All of them are just tens of light years away.


There's An Epic Storm Brewing On This Little Star

Astronomers are comparing it to Jupiter’s red spot: a forever storm large enough to swallow three Earths. Except this monster tempest appears to be raging on a star.


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.


NASA's Kepler Mission Discovered 1000 Planets In Its Quest To Find Life

It was six years ago this month that NASA shot the Kepler telescope to the heavens on a galactic, planet-finding mission. Today, the space agency released this graphic that could also be Kepler’s mic-dropping resume.


Ancient Exoplanet Discovery Boosts Chances Of Finding Alien Life

One of the crucial variables in calculating the likelihood that alien life exists elsewhere in our galaxy is the number of stars that possess planetary systems, and the proportion of those planets that might be suitable for life.


Kepler Just Found The Most Earth-Like Exoplanets Ever Discovered

Kepler just can’t stop discovering exoplanets. Nearly two years after scientists said it was crippled, the planet-hunting telescope recently identified eight new planets. But that’s not all. They’re all in the Goldilocks zone of their respective stars, and two of them are more Earth-like than anything astronomers have ever seen.


Kepler Just Discovered A New Super-Earth, Against All Odds 

In May 2013, NASA’s exoplanet-seeking spacecraft, Kepler, seemed doomed. Two of four wheels that stabilised its telescope had malfunctioned — and NASA appealed to scientists from around the world for ideas to salvage its mission. Yesterday, it announced the discovery of a brand-new super-Earth 180 light years from our own.


Exo-Earths And The Search For Life Elsewhere: A Brief History

Ever since humans first looked up at the night sky, we have wondered whether we are alone in the universe. Dreams of life beyond Earth pervade literature, TV shows and drive Hollywood blockbusters – but the truth of life beyond the Earth continues to evade us.


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