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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 21:21 EDT

Latest Nicolas Cowan Stories

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...

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2009-05-26 06:45:00

Since the early 1990s astronomers have discovered more than 300 planets orbiting stars other than our sun, nearly all of them gas giants like Jupiter. Powerful space telescopes, such as the one that is central to NASA's recently launched Kepler Mission, will make it easier to spot much smaller rocky extrasolar planets, or exoplanets, more similar to Earth. But seen from dozens of light years away, an Earth-like exoplanet will appear in telescopes as little more than a "pale blue dot," the...