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Latest Habitable zone Stories

Kepler Mission Cannot Be Restored
2013-08-16 04:33:17

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online After spending several months attempting to restore the Kepler Space Telescope to full working order, NASA announced on Thursday it was throwing in the towel – though the observatory could continue to function in a somewhat limited capacity. According to the US space agency, two of Kepler’s four gyroscope-like reaction wheels have failed – one in July 2012 and the other in May. Those wheels are used to precisely direct the...

Runaway Greenhouse Planet
2013-07-30 11:42:08

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online When a planet absorbs too much solar radiation, its atmosphere reaches a tipping point - overheating, boiling its oceans and filling with steam. The result is an uninhabitable world much like Venus. This 'runaway greenhouse' phenomenon typically occurs just inside the habitable zone orbited by planets like Earth, and a new report in Nature Geoscience indicates that reaching the tipping point may be easier than previously thought....

NASA Attempts 'Hail Mary' To Recover Kepler Space Telescope
2013-07-19 14:23:40

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA is launching a last-ditch "Hail Mary" attempt to try and bring its Kepler mission back to life. The US space agency said that over the next week, the Kepler team will attempt tests to explore recovery of the spacecraft's reaction wheels, which failed back in May. Kepler needs its reaction wheels to help stabilize it as it searches for exoplanets around distant stars. The team will be continuing its efforts to conduct tests on...

Planets May Keep Warmer In A Cool Star System
2013-07-19 13:49:17

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online According to a new study published in the journal Astrobiology, planets orbiting cooler stars may be more likely to remain ice-free than planets around hotter stars. Stars emit different types of light, with hotter stars emitting high-energy visible and ultraviolet light, and cooler stars giving off infrared and near-infrared light. A new climate model found that planets orbiting cool stars actually may be warmer and less icy than...

Hunting For Exoplanets
2013-07-19 10:34:45

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The hunt is on for planets that, like Earth, have the conditions necessary for life to survive on their surfaces. But what exactly are scientists looking for? Earlier this week, NASA officials shed a little light on precisely what conditions they are seeking on worlds located beyond our solar system. These worlds, which are also known as exoplanets, have to meet a handful of different criteria in order to be considered potentially...

Stellar Magnetic Fields Affect Possibility For Life Beyond Earth
2013-07-05 04:31:00

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The presence of an atmosphere - among many other factors - is vital for the evolution of life as we know it on a planet. However, this seemingly simple requirement is bathed in a multitude of variables that can affect its creation and existence. Thus, establishing an atmosphere is by no means a trivial detail. Scientists believe mechanisms such as volcanic eruptions, other tectonic activity and even comet impacts could all play...

New Super Earth Found 70 Light Years Away
2013-07-02 14:19:36

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using the Canadian Microvariability & Oscillations of Stars (MOST) telescope, an international team of researchers has uncovered new details about a relatively close Earth-sized planet, according to a new report in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. The star, known as HD 97658, sits just 70 light-years away from Earth and can almost be seen with the naked eye. In 2011, astronomers first discovered a planet orbiting the nearby star,...

Clouds May Help Reveal More Habitable Planets
2013-07-02 05:48:46

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online According to a new study from the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, the influence of cloud behavior on climate doubles the number of potentially habitable planets orbiting the most common type of stars in the universe, red dwarfs. In the Milky Way alone, the findings suggest, 60 billion planets may be orbiting red dwarf stars in the habitable zone. The study, published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, is based on...

Red Dwarf Stars May Destroy Possibility Of Life In Their Systems
2013-07-01 18:43:05

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Most of the stars in the Universe are classified as red dwarf stars - stars considerably smaller and cooler than our Sun. About 75 percent of the main sequence stars in our galaxy are classified as such, so they represent an exciting population to study in the search for life beyond Earth. If it were found that Earth-like planets formed around red dwarf stars, then the door would be opened to the possibility we might soon...


Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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