Exo Planets

Earth’s Nearest Exoplanet, Proxima Centauri b, May Be a Water World Too

Earth’s Nearest Exoplanet, Proxima Centauri b, May Be a Water World Too

In August, the European Southern Observatory announced the discovery of an Earth sized planet orbiting in the habitable, or Goldilocks Zone, of the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri. Given its location just 4.22 light years away, the newfound world is as close to Earth as a potentially life-supporting planet could plausibly be, raising interesting philosophical […]

Posted in: Exo Planets
With Proxima b Confirmed as Earth’s Nearest Neighbor, Humanity Has a New Destination

With Proxima b Confirmed as Earth’s Nearest Neighbor, Humanity Has a New Destination

Of all the stunning real-life images of deep space captured by the telescopes of the European Southern Observatory, this artist’s impression may be the most profound. As expected, the ESO held a press conference at its headquarters in Munich, Germany yesterday to announce that its researchers have indeed discovered a near Earth sized planet orbiting […]

ESO’s Wednesday Presser: Earth 2.0 at Proxima Centauri?

ESO’s Wednesday Presser: Earth 2.0 at Proxima Centauri?

German rocket pioneer Krafft Ehricke supposedly once said “if God had meant mankind to become a spacefaring species he would have given us a Moon.” Based on that sentiment, tomorrow could be a bad day for atheists. Last month, word began to come out that an Earth sized planet has been discovered in the habitable […]

Radically Upgrading the Estimate of Alien Civilizations in the Milky Way

Radically Upgrading the Estimate of Alien Civilizations in the Milky Way

You may recall the Drake Equation, the famous estimate of the total number of potential technologically advanced civilization in the Milky Way, with which we might make radio contact. The right hand side of the equation, courtesy of Wikipedia are : R* = the average rate of star formation in our galaxy fp = the […]

Posted in: Exo Planets
NASA Announces Discovery of 1,284 New Exoplanets, 9 in “Goldilocks Zone”

NASA Announces Discovery of 1,284 New Exoplanets, 9 in “Goldilocks Zone”

NASA held a teleconference today to announce the confirmed discovery of 1,284 new planets as part of the Kepler Space Telescope’s primary mission. The new batch of planets, the largest found at any one time, bring the total number of new planets discovered by Kepler to 2.325. Of particular interest, the new batch includes 550 […]

Posted in: Exo Planets
Potentially Habitable Planets Hiding Around Ultra-Cool Dwarf Stars

Potentially Habitable Planets Hiding Around Ultra-Cool Dwarf Stars

From the ESO: Astronomers using the TRAPPIST telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory have discovered three planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star just 40 light-years from Earth. These worlds have sizes and temperatures similar to those of Venus and Earth and are the best targets found so far for the search for life outside the […]

Birth of a New Earth: Will We Still Be Around to See It Turn 16?

Birth of a New Earth: Will We Still Be Around to See It Turn 16?

In the best image of its kind to date, ESO’s ALMA captures a protoplanetary disc around the star TW Hydrae, revealing the telltale signature of rings and gaps that indicate planets are in the process of formation. Press Release From the European Southern Observatory: The star TW Hydrae is a popular target of study for […]

New Worlds in Far Away Places

New Worlds in Far Away Places

Two new discoveries, one at the farthest boundary of our solar system, and one orbiting a dim star 39 light years add to a remarkable week of planetary news. First up is V774101, a 300-600 mile diameter world discovered orbiting at a distance 3 times further out than Pluto, and 103 times further than Earth […]

NASA Announces Closest Earth Analogue Yet Discovered

NASA Announces Closest Earth Analogue Yet Discovered

Artist’s Concept of Kepler 452-B / Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle NASA held a teleconference today to announce the discovery of the most Earth-like planet yet to be found in the habitable zone orbiting a star similar to our own Sun. The planet, which was discovered using data gathered by the Kepler Space Telescope in 2009, […]

Posted in: Exo Planets, NASA
Stunning Image of Planet Formation from ESO

Stunning Image of Planet Formation from ESO

Actual Image, Not an Artists Impression Image of HL Tauri Planetary Disc 350 Light Years Away / Credit ESO Innerspace regularly highlights images from the European Southern Observatory, particularly on Fridays, when the simple beauty of the cosmos serves as a pleasant counterbalance to the often messy struggles of a species trying to find its […]

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