A device known as "Sphere," attached to the Very Large Telescope in Chile, has achieved first light using three novel methods to peek into the brightness.
Humanity's most advanced telescopes have begun to confirm distant planets circling their stars within the habitable zone. Use a conservative definition of what makes a potentially habitable planet, and these 7 exoplanets still make the grade.
For centuries, distant planets were the stuff of sci-fi, but in recent years, science has begun to confirm their existence. Take a quick tour of the more than 1,700 (so far) known exoplanets in the visible universe.
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory captures the first-ever X-ray of an exoplanet passing in front of its parent star in a system that is 63 light-years from Earth.
Astronomers have made a crude thermal map of an extrasolar world they cannot yet see, confirming that violent winds rapidly whip around the planet.
Evidence that plant life was a primary force that shaped Earth's surface is laid out in a new issue of Nature Geoscience. Because of that, the chance we'll find a similar world with a surface like our planet's is very small.
The findings lend support to the hope that somewhere up in the night sky is an Earth-like world.
The discovery of water vapor in the atmosphere of the planet opens up more understanding about planet formation and the possibility of life outside our solar system.
We don't have X-wing fighters just yet, but we may soon have their laser weapons. DARPA is working on a system that's downright Lucasian.
Anomaly no more? Radio observatories in Australia and Puerto Rico have both now picked up brief bursts of radio waves from beyond our galaxy.