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Toasty, windy exoplanet charted in 2D for first time

Astronomers have made a crude thermal map of an extrasolar world they cannot yet see, confirming that violent winds rapidly whip around the planet.

By February 27, 2012


Why we'll never find an exoplanet like Earth

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.

By February 2, 2012


Exoplanets more common than stars, galactic census finds

The findings lend support to the hope that somewhere up in the night sky is an Earth-like world.

By January 12, 2012


After 35 years, SETI celebrates its most-famous alien hunter

Jill Tarter, who was the inspiration for Jodie Foster's character in "Contact," will lead the SETI Institute's fundraising. She talked to CNET about the alien hunt, and what she'd say to them.

By May 22, 2012


Spitzer telescope brings 'infrared wonders' home

To celebrate the previous 1,000 days of the NASA Spitzer space telescope, astronomers release their top 10 most dramatic images captured by the infrared camera on board.

By April 19, 2012


Milky Way packs billions of Earth-size planets

Astronomers at the ESO in Europe conclude that there are tens of billions of rocky planets in potentially habitable zones in our galaxy.

By March 28, 2012


NASA spots first planet in binary star system

Bringing to mind the fictional world Tatooine in the Star Wars saga, a NASA spacecraft has discovered a Saturn-size world 200 light years from Earth that orbits two stars, a first in the search for exoplanets.

By September 15, 2011


Could newly discovered planet sustain life?

Gliese 581g is just the right distance from its host star to enjoy temperatures hospitable to water in liquid form--and thus be hospitable to life, researchers say.

By September 29, 2010


NASA's Kepler finds five 'hot Jupiters'

After less than a year in operation, NASA's Kepler space telescope finds five new exoplanets in our galaxy. Unfortunately, none of them is habitable.

By January 4, 2010