Deep Space

  • Double Discovery: Super-Earth and Ocean World
    Researchers have made two amazing discoveries regarding the Gliese 581 system. The star is orbited by the lightest exoplanet ever found, less than twice the mass of the Earth. One of the other planets in this system, a super-Earth, orbits within the star´s
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    NASA's Kepler spacecraft has captured its first images of the star-rich patch of sky where it will soon begin searching for Earth-like planets. One image from Kepler's entire field of view is estimated to contain 14 million stars, more than 100,000 of which are considered
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  • Generating Giant Galaxies
    A new finding indicates that not all massive, luminous galaxies formed shortly after the Big Bang. The study could yield new information about the origin and evolution of galaxies.
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    At the most recent NASA Astrobiology Science Conference, a panel of scientists discussed different types of planets where we might find alien life. In the final segment of this series, the panelists express their hopes about discovering evidence for aliens in our galaxy.
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    Life is thought to have arisen from a hot soup of chemical ingredients. Could such a life-giving broth exist on planets around distant stars as well? A new study using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope indicates that a different mixture of life-forming chemicals may exist on
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    Not astrobiologists' first choice, red dwarf stars have now gained acceptance as potential hosts for habitable planets. They may not be great to live by in the first couple billion years, but they eventually settle down into relatively pleasant stars.
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  • Hubble Finds Hidden Exoplanet
    Using a new image-processing technique, astronomers have discovered a new extrasolar planet by looking back through archived data from the Hubble Space Telescope. The new technique could help identify additional planets hidden in the more than 10 years of Hubble data currently available.
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  • Generations
    At the most recent NASA Astrobiology Science Conference, a panel of scientists discussed different types of planets where we might find alien life. In part six of this series, the panelists answer audience questions about the origin and evolution of life elsewhere.
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  • Confessions of an Alien Hunter
    After five decades, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence has failed to find any alien signals. SETI researchers are still optimistic that we will one day find evidence for intelligent life somewhere in our galaxy. A new book by SETI scientist, Seth Shostak, reviews the history,
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  • To See a Clear Day From Far Away
    Astronomers are close to discovering Earth-sized planets in Earth-like orbits around distant stars – but the real question is, are they habitable? Do they have Earth-like atmospheres? Such questions may prove very difficult to answer.
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  • Alien vs. Predator
    At the most recent NASA Astrobiology Science Conference, a panel of scientists discussed different types of planets where we might find alien life. In the fifth segment of this series, the panelists address questions from the audience about the search for life on Mars and
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  • Galactic Dust Bunnies Contain Stuff of Life
    Astronomers have found evidence that carbon-rich stars may form at the center of the Milky Way. The research is helping astrobiologists understand how elements necessary for life are formed and distributed through the Universe.
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  • Starlight, Star Bright
    On March 6, NASA launched Kepler, a telescope that will search for distant Earths by studying 100,000 stars simultaneously. But to examine the atmospheres of distant Earths for signs of life, says Sara Seagar of MIT, NASA may need to build a fleet of hundreds
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  • Kepler Ready to Search for Earths
    NASA's Kepler mission has been successfully launched into space. Kepler is designed to find Earth-size planets that may have liquid water on their surfaces. Liquid water is believed to be essential for the formation of life.
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  • Finding Earth’s Twin: No Easy Task
    Are there other Earths out there -- rocky planets capable of supporting life, orbiting sun-like stars at comfortable distances? NASA is about to launch a telescope designed to find the answer.
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