Spitzer Data Suggests Kepler's Strange 'Alien' Star is Surrounded by Comets, not Alien Megastructures

An artist's illustration of cometary fragments passing in front of a star. A new study based on data gathered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggests that the anomalous dips in brightness that have been observed around the star KIC 8462852 are caused by the fragmentation of similar cometary fragments. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

An artist’s illustration of cometary fragments passing in front of a star. A new study based on data gathered by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope suggests that the anomalous dips in brightness that have been observed around the star KIC 8462852 are caused by the fragmentation of similar cometary fragments. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

What is […]

Astronomers Begin Woldwide Observations of 'Unusual' Star as SETI Listens for Alien Signals

Astronomers have begun a close-up study of the unusual star KIC 8462852 in the hopes of explaining Kepler's enigmatic observations. To that end, the American Association of Variable Star Observers recently issued a call to the astronomical community worldwide for more detailed observations, while the SETI Institute has began searching for possible radio signals of artificial origin in KIC 8462852's vicinity. Image Credit: Seth Shostak, SETI Institute.

Astronomers have begun a follow-up study of the unusual star KIC 8462852 in the hopes of explaining Kepler’s enigmatic observations. To that end, the American Association of Variable Star Observers recently issued a call to the astronomical community worldwide for more detailed observations, while the SETI Institute has began searching for possible radio signals […]

Kepler Observes White Dwarf Star Disintegrating Its Planet(s)

An artist's concept of a minor planet being disintegrated by a white dwarf star. New observations by NASA's Kepler space telescope have indicated that this indeed takes place around WD 1145+017, a white dwarf located 570 light-years away. Image Credit: CfA/Mark A. Garlick

An artist’s concept of a minor planet being disintegrated by a white dwarf star. New observations by NASA’s Kepler space telescope have indicated that this indeed takes place around WD 1145+017, a white dwarf located 570 light-years away. Image Credit: CfA/Mark A. Garlick

One of the wonderful things of living in a galaxy populated […]

The Kepler Discovery Controversy: Objects Orbiting New Star Likely Cometary Fragments, Not Aliens

Are the unusual objects around KIC 8462852 a giant swarm of comets or something else? Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)

Are the unusual objects around KIC 8462852 a giant swarm of comets or something else? Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)

There has been a lot of discussion during the past several days regarding a discovery by the Kepler Space Telescope, which, according to some, might be the first evidence for advanced extraterrestrial intelligence, or […]

Interiors of Rocky Exoplanets Might Be Different Than Earth's, According to New Study

Artist’s impression of the Super-Earth-type exoplanet HD 85512 b. As evidenced by the results of a new study, these rocky exoplanets, which are though to be similar to Earth, could have a different internal chemistry instead. Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger

The steady stream of terrestrial exoplanet discoveries that have come from NASA’s Kepler […]

Gemini Planet Imager Finds Its First Exoplanet, a Methane-Rich 'Young Jupiter'

Discovery image of the exoplanet 51 Eridani b taken by the Gemini Planet Imager on December 21 2014. Image Credit:  J. Rameau (UdeM)/C. Marois (NRC Herzberg)

Discovery near-infrared image of the exoplanet 51 Eridani b taken by the Gemini Planet Imager on Dec. 21, 2014. The relative size of Saturn’s orbit is also shown for comparison. Image Credit: Gemini Observatory/J. Rameau (UdeM)/C. Marois (NRC Herzberg)

The Gemini Planet Imager, a new telescopic instrument designed to find, image, and study faint, young planets orbiting bright stars, has discovered its first exoplanet: a young Jupiter-like planet called 51 Eridani b which orbits […]

New Images and Scheduled Observations of Pluto as New Horizons Closes In

Pluto’s fascinating terrain and various geologic features are revealed in detail in this latest black-and-white image from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. The image was taken with the onboard Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, or LORRI on July 9, while New Horizons was approximately 5.4 million km away from the dwarf planet. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

With […]

Astronomers Determine Progenitors of Supernova Explosions More Varied Than Thought

Computer-generated image of a Type Ia supernova explosion. New research has provided important insights about the progenitor stars of these cataclysmic cosmic events. Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Dana Berry

Type Ia supernova explosions can be considered as some of the Universe’s most spectacular and inviting attractions, signifying the death of very massive stars. With peak luminosities […]

New Study Reassesses Habitability of Exoplanets Around Multiple Star Systems

An artist’s concept of Kepler-47, which was the first-ever planetary system to be discovered orbiting a binary star. A new research that was based on data taken with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope provides stringest limits to the potential habitablity of exoplanets in several such systems. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

One defining scientific revolution of […]

Cloudy With a Chance of Sunshine: Astronomers Study Weather on Distant Exoplanets

An artist’s rendering of the possible weather and atmospheric circulation patterns on hot Jupiters. A new research by a team of astronomers that was based on data taken with NASA’s Kepler space telescope, studied the phase variations that occur as different portions of these planets are illuminated by their host stars as seen from […]