NASA's TESS Mission Wraps Up First Year of Exoplanet Hunting

TESS has already discovered nearly 1,000 exoplanet candidates and 24 confirmed exoplanets so far, in its first year. Image Credit: Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA’s TESS mission (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) has now completed the first year of its search for exoplanets and has already racked up some great discoveries, it was announced on […]

Kepler Space Telescope Discovers First Evidence for Exocomets Transiting Their Stars

Artist’s conception of a “storm” of comets orbiting a nearby star. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Comets, those icy and rocky bodies with the spectacular long tails of gas and dust, are common in our Solar System, with several thousand having been discovered so far. But what about other solar systems? Thousands of exoplanets are […]

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

What […]

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

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 […]

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)

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, […]

The Case of the Exocomets Around Beta Pictoris

An artist’s impression showing exocomets orbiting the star Beta Pictoris. After analyzing archival observations that had been made with the HARPS spectrograph at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, astronomers have discovered two families of exocomets around this nearby young star. Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada

With the recent close flyby of comet Siding […]