Using publicly available data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have found that six percent of red dwarf stars have habitable, Earth-sized planets. Since red dwarfs are the most common stars in our galaxy, the closest Earth-like planet could be just 13 light-years away.
Despite its appearance, which looks much like countless other galaxies, Messier 106 hides a number of secrets. Thanks to this image, which combines data from Hubble with observations by amateur astronomers Robert Gendler and Jay GaBany, they are revealed as never before.
IBEX can map the boundary at the edge of our heliosphere in a way never before done. In 2009, IBEX saw something in that map that no one could explain: a vast ribbon dancing across the boundary that produced many more energetic neutral atoms than the surrounding areas.
Researchers have used cutting-edge solar-imaging technology to observe the Sun's chromosphere - a region of the Sun's atmosphere sandwiched between its surface and outer layer - to an unprecedented level of detail.
A new study suggests that super-Earths are actually surrounded by extended hydrogen-rich envelopes and that they are unlikely to ever become Earth-like. Rather than being super-Earths, these worlds are more like mini-Neptunes.
Setting up a lunar base could be made much simpler by using a 3D printer to build it from local materials. Industrial partners including renowned architects Foster + Partners have joined with ESA to test the feasibility of 3D printing using lunar soil.
Astronomers of the international CLUES collaboration have identified "Cosmic Web Stripping" as a new way of explaining the famous missing dwarf problem: the lack of observed dwarf galaxies compared with that predicted by the theory of Cold Dark Matter and Dark Energy.
Years of monitoring its infrared with the Spitzer instrument reveal that it becomes 10 times brighter every 25.34 days, Gutermuth and colleagues say. This periodicity suggests that a companion to the central forming star is likely inhibiting the infall of gas and dust until its closest orbital approach, when matter eventually comes crashing down onto the protostellar "twins".
A new study concludes that 70 per cent of the dust that is found between the Sun and Mars comes from comets, 22 per cent is from asteroids and around seven and a half per cent comes from outside the solar system, dust from interstellar space.