The red giant star Kepler-56 spins on an axis offset by a bizarre 45 degrees from its transiting planets. The discovery of a third companion could explain why.
Photosynthetic life has infused Earth's atmosphere with abundant oxygen that otherwise wouldn't be here. So can oxygen be used as a dependable signature for life on other worlds? Maybe not, according to a new analysis.
Turns out “the lonely star of autumn” has not just one, but two distant companions, making it one of the most widely separated systems known.
Visible and infrared observations suggest that the hot Jupiter Kepler-7b has a large patch of clouds on one side.
New studies of the coolest brown dwarfs are helping astronomers explore the mysterious objects that bridge the gap between stars and planets.
The disabled space telescope's prolific planet-hunting run is officially over, as the team abandons efforts to salvage its full pointing ability and focuses on data analysis. Its next mission? Hunting for a job.
A new companion found by direct imaging reveals a potentially cloudless gas giant oddly far from a young sun.
For the first time, astronomers know the true color of an exoplanet — and it appears an un-Earthly shade of blue. But don't pack your bags…
Dusty disks that encircle young stars sometimes host giant gaps. But a new study shows these gaps aren't necessarily the signature of a nearby planet.
The discovery of two mini-Neptunes around Sun-like stars in a distinctly un-Sun-like environment reveals that small planets can live in more crowded neighborhoods than we thought.
Two new studies highlight the growing importance of red dwarfs in the competitive search for alien worlds — and the challenges of characterizing them.
After several months of trying to reboot, mission planners for the exoplanet hunter COROT have declared the satellite's failure official.
A new study suggests that close-in gas giants may heat up electrically like toaster coils plugged in to their host stars via the power lines of the stellar wind — explaning why the planets inflate.
New observations with the powerful ALMA observatory reveal a huge pile-up of dust around a young star. The result could help astronomers solve a long-standing mystery in planet formation.
A recent annual meeting of amateur astronomers in Big Bear, California, proved once again that the amateur community is pursuing impressive science endeavors.
In 2014 and 2016, Proxima Centauri will pass in front of two distant stars, potentially revealing details about itself and whether it hosts any planets in the process.
In the wake of the apparent loss of the Kepler mission, the exoplanet community salutes one of its legends while pivoting to new ground- and space-based opportunities.
The uncertain tale of our closest exoplanet neighbor — is it there or isn’t it? — may end on a cliffhanger.
There's a big gap in the dusty disk around the young star V1247 Orionis. Such a gap should be carved out by one or more planets, but astronomers can't find any.
NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered a 5-planet system that includes a hot Mars and four super-Earths, two of which might host liquid water. These aren’t quite the Earth-like exoplanets Kepler’s been looking for, but they’re close.
Two newly discovered brown dwarfs lie just 6.5 light-years away, making them the closest brown dwarfs known, the third-closest star system known, and best of all, a promising target for exoplanet studies.
The Kepler mission has discovered an exoplanet smaller than Mercury orbiting a Sun-like star.
The best place to look for nearby Earth-size planets might be the smallest, coolest stars — but these stars could also be bad for creating Earth-like planets.
Amateur astronomers perform a crucial role in detecting exoplanets by a technique called microlensing, including the most recent discovery of a multiple-planet system.
White dwarfs can have stable habitable zones for a few billion years, and planets with Earth-like atmospheres might be much easier to detect around these stellar remnants than normal, hydrogen-fusing stars.