Even as late as 1991, we had no hard evidence of planets existing outside our solar system (a centuries-old quest), known as “exoplanets”. Today, over 4000 exoplanets are known to exist. NASA has published an amazing video-map showing them in the Milky Way galaxy on the Astronomy Picture of the Day website.
Now we’re living on a warm, hospitable planet. As Carl Sagan has said “That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.” We, humans, are the unquestionable rulers of our little oasis in a hostile universe. But […]
In April 2018, the European Space Agency’s Gaia observatory released its second data catalog, which includes the distances to over 1.3 billion stars. In the video published by the American Museum of Natural History, the museum’s astrophysicist Jackie Faherty breaks down why this information is so revolutionary and explains how this information is helping scientists and […]
You can help NASA on some projects: for instance, citizen scientists helped NASA identify an aurora-related celestial phenomenon, now called STEVE. Want to become a citizen scientist? You can find projects on the NASA website.
Will we ever visit other stars? Maybe, in the distant future, if humans won’t become extinct, our grand grand grand … (insert a hundred or a thousand “grand” here) children can stand on an exoplanet’s surface someday. But, we don’t have to wait. NASA has opened a new web page, an “Exoplanet Travel Bureau”, and we can, […]
Good news for the search for extraterrestrial life: the TRAPPIST-1 System might be rich (very rich!) in water and all of the planets are mostly made of rock. Using data from NASA’s Spitzer and Kepler space telescopes, researchers calculated the densities of TRAPPIST-1 planets more precisely than ever, and they determined that all of the […]
Using data from exoplanet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope and machine learning algorithm from Google, researchers discovered an 8th planet orbiting a distant star. The newly discovered planet is circling Kepler-90, a G-type main-sequence star (Sun-like star), 2,545 light-years from Earth. It is named Kepler-90i. According to the press release from NASA, Kepler-90i is “a sizzling hot, rocky […]
Are we alone in the universe? Or are there any other “living planets” other than Earth? How to tell if a planet harbors life? Until 1992, we even don’t know if there are any other planets around the other stars or not. In 1992, two Swiss astrophysicists, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz the first “exoplanet” […]
Can we, humans, be one of the few (or the only) civilizations in the Universe that surpassed the so-called “great barrier”? Are we the first?
NASA’s space observatory Kepler may have discovered a possibly Earth-like planet, a rocky world orbiting a Sun-like star at almost the exact same distance Earth orbits our own Sun: Kepler-452b! “The new Earth” is located 1,400 light-years from us. It orbits a Sun-like star that is 4% more massive and 10% brighter than our Sun. […]