Is the earth unique? Or is there life somewhere else out there in space? The NASA built space telescope Kepler was designed to give us some initial answers to these questions. The flying telescope was launched in 2009 and until summer of 2013, when it became clear that a defect in two of Kepler's reaction wheels was irreparable, rendering it unsuitable for the task of searching for planets.
The sudden end to the mission was a shock for planetary researchers given its tremendous success until that point. Kepler found 135 earth-like planets. Only a fraction of the data has been analyzed so far. We talk to scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research who are looking at the data and searching for habitable planets outside our solar system.
Reuters (Sep. 12, 2012) A team of scientists from the Polish Academy of Sciences in Torun are using four remotely controlled telescopes placed around the globe to search for circumbinary systems - multiple transiting ... watch video
Apr. 24, 2015 A long-standing puzzle regarding the nature of disk galaxies has finally been solved by a team of astronomers using state-of-the-art theoretical models. The new study shows that groups of stars with ... read more
Apr. 24, 2015 Galaxies are often found in clusters, which contain many 'red and dead' members that stopped forming stars in the distant past. Now an international team of astronomers have discovered that these ... read more
Apr. 23, 2015 Inside NASA's giant thermal vacuum chamber, called Chamber A, at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, the James Webb Space Telescope's Pathfinder backplane test model, is being prepared for its ... read more
Apr. 23, 2015 We know of about two dozen runaway stars, and have even found one runaway star cluster escaping its galaxy forever. Now, astronomers have spotted 11 runaway galaxies that have been flung out of their ... read more
Apr. 23, 2015 Detecting an 'earthquake' on Venus would seem to be an impossible task. But conditions in Venus' atmosphere are much more hospitable, and it is here that researchers hope to deploy an array of ... read more
Apr. 23, 2015 The glittering tapestry of young stars flaring to life in this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image aptly resembles an exploding shell in a fireworks display. This vibrant image of the star ... read more
Apr. 23, 2015 Albert Einstein tells us that clocks run slower the deeper they are in the gravitational potential well of a mass – the closer they are to a heavenly body, for example. This effect is described by ... read more