Super-Earth: The newfound haul of alien planets includes 16 super-Earths, which are potentially rocky worlds that are more massive than our planet. One in particular has captured astronomers' attention because it orbits at the edge of its star's habitable zone, suggesting conditions could be ripe to support life.
For a planet to support life, it faces long odds: It has to be the right size, right composition, and right distance from its star. On Monday astronomers announced a trove of new planet 'candidates.'
The alien world has already gone through the red giant phase of stellar evolution, a milestone our sun should reach in 5 billion years or so. The fact that the newly discovered exoplanet survived this dramatic event suggests some planets in our solar system might, too.
For the first time, scientists have found a solar system that was not formed in the Milky Way galaxy. What's more, the planet is in danger of being eaten by its host star.
The once-vaunted Russia science powerhouse is following the same downhill path of Soviet-era athletic prowess. Lack of funds and plummeting social recognition mean that few young people pursue science careers.
Remnants from the explosions of stars in the 16th and 17th centuries are seen today.