An Earth-sized planet found in the habitable zone of a nearby star

Until about a decade ago, only two habitable zone planets of any size were known to astronomers: Earth and Mars.

Universal History Archive / Getty Images

A few months ago a group of NASA exoplanet astronomers, who are in the business of discovering planets around other stars, called me into a secret meeting to tell me about a planet that had captured their interest.

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Could invisible aliens really exist among us? An astrobiologist explains

The intelligent life we are searching for doesn't have to be humanoid.

Francis DEMANGE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Life is pretty easy to recognise. It moves, it grows, it eats, it excretes, it reproduces.

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Astronomers discover what makes the biggest explosions in space

New study figures out how stars produce gamma ray bursts.

University of Warwick/Mark Garlick
  • Researchers find out how binary star systems produce gamma ray bursts.
  • Gamma ray bursts are the brightest explosions in the Universe.
  • Tidal effects created in a binary system keep the stars spinning fast and create the bursts.
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First Mars samples are headed to Earth. What are the risks?

A Mars Space Flight team member warns that people need to be prepared for what's coming.

Image source: Marat Gilyadzinov/unsplash
  • A mission to and from Mars aims to bring back signs or examples of life.
  • Expect material direct from the Red Planet around 2031.
  • A special lab to quarantine the samples is being designed.
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'Charcoal Australia': This viral image isn't the full story

Viral 'photo' is composite image, but other map shows true and growing size of devastation

  • A viral photo shows Australia smoldering like a piece of charcoal about to ignite.
  • The composite image shows all fires over an entire month, which is not the same as all fires raging at the same time.
  • That's not to say the devastation isn't real, and growing–as proven by another map.
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