Top 5 Potentially Inhabitable Alien Planets

Since it was launched in 2009, NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered more than 700 confirmed planets outside our solar system. Some may be quite appealing to humans in the future. 

What's the Latest Development?

Since NASA's Kepler spacecraft was launched in 2009, it has discovered over 700 confirmed planets outside our solar system. The most promising planets are those which most resemble Earth, i.e. have about the same size, are made of rock and orbit in its star's habitable zone, where temperatures allow liquid water to be maintained. At the top of the list is Gliese 581g, a rocky planet just 20 light-years from Earth. "It's likely two to three times as massive as Earth and zips around its parent star, the red dwarf Gliese 581, every 30 days or so."

What's the Big Idea?

Discovered in February 2012, Gliese 667Cc orbits a red dwarf star some 22 light-years away, in the constellation Scorpius. "The alien world is a so-called 'super-Earth' that's at least 4.5 times as massive as our planet, and it completes an orbit every 28 days. At least one other planet resides in the 667C system." Third on the list is Kepler-22b, whose name is an homage to the craft that discovered it in December 2011. "If the greenhouse effect operates on Kepler-22b like it does on Earth, the alien world would have an average surface temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius), researchers have said."

Photo credit:

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less
Promotional photo of Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones
Surprising Science
  • It's commonly thought that the suppression of female sexuality is perpetuated by either men or women.
  • In a new study, researchers used economics games to observe how both genders treat sexually-available women.
  • The results suggests that both sexes punish female promiscuity, though for different reasons and different levels of intensity.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less