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Cosmic Relief with David Grinspoon

Seeing Through the Smoke

The near-term haze of climate disasters obscures our possible futures. But long-term trends leave room for optimism.


NASA’s Kepler Finds Outcast Earths

Astronomers uncovered four new Earth-mass rogue planet candidates by searching for microlensing events observed with Kepler.

Kepler concept


Earth-size Planets Are Common, Kepler Retrospective Finds

A new, full analysis of Kepler data finds at least 300 million Earth-size planets in the habitable zone around Sun-like stars in our galaxy.

Lensing white dwarf

Stellar Science

An “Impossible” White Dwarf Identified in Kepler Data

Meet the white dwarf that defies all expectations.

Kepler 47 (artist's concept)


Third Planet Found Orbiting Binary Star System Kepler 47

Astronomers have found a third planet circling a pair of stars in the Kepler 47 system.

Kepler Art

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

The Kepler Space Telescope Comes to an End

NASA's planet-hunting telescope has run out of fuel after a nine-year mission that found more than 2,600 planets orbiting other stars along with thousands more worlds yet to be confirmed.

Illustration of Kepler-1625b and exomoon in transit


Hubble Boosts Case for Exomoon

Exoplanet Kepler-1625b might harbor a moon the size of Neptune—potentially the first confirmed exomoon—but researchers urge caution.



Extra Stars Might Downsize Exoplanets

Follow-up studies of candidates planetary systems found by NASA’s Kepler mission suggest that companion stars make some worlds appear smaller than they really are.

Kepler-90 system


Neural Network Finds 8-Planet System

Scientists have applied a brand of artificial intelligence to data from the exoplanet-hunting Kepler satellite, resulting in the discovery of the first eight-planet system outside our own.

Comet Swarm

Stellar Science

Tabby’s Star: Weird Star Gets Weirder

A new study on KIC 8462852, the star of alien megastructure fame, finds yearlong trends that effectively rule out the one working theory astronomers had to explain this strange star.


NASA’s K2 Mission Confirms 100+ Exoplanets

Kepler’s K2 mission has confirmed 104 new exoplanets — including a rocky, four-planet system.


Kepler’s 1,284 Newly Confirmed Planets

Even though Kepler’s primary mission ended three years ago, the data it collected just revealed a mother lode: 1,284 newly confirmed planets.

Pro-Am Collaboration

NASA's Kepler Spacecraft Recovered from Emergency Mode

The Kepler team unexpectedly found the planet-hunting spacecraft in emergency mode on April 7th, but with the spacecraft recovered, hopes are high that its newest search, this time for rogue planets, is still on. Read on to see how amateur observations can help!

Kepler-452b, Earth's closest twin yet


Kepler Discovers Earth’s Closest Cousin Yet

The Kepler team announced today the discovery of Kepler-452b, an Earth-size planet in the “goldilocks” zone around a Sun-like star. But is it Earthlike?

Space Missions

Kepler: Revived and Working Again

NASA’s crippled planet-hunting spacecraft has been reworked for at least two years of productive new missions.


Most “Earth-Like” Planet Found Yet

The newly discovered planet, Kepler-186f, is the first Earth-size exoplanet circling in its star’s habitable zone. The media worldwide is gleaming with fantastical headlines, but readers in the know may have an inkling the result is less than it seems.


Kepler's Planets by the Hundreds

Old data from NASA’s crippled Kepler space telescope has yielded a new windfall of confirmed exoplanets, nearly doubling the number tallied since 1992.


Kepler Mission Hits 3,500 Candidates

The Kepler team has released its analysis of the mission’s first three years of observations. The haul includes 10 Earth-size (and probably rocky) exoplanets in their stars’ habitable zones, and the stats show such planets are common.

Space Missions

Kepler KO'd; NASA Ponders New Purpose

The disabled space telescope's prolific planet-hunting run is officially over, as the team abandons efforts to salvage its full pointing ability and focuses on data analysis. Its next mission? Hunting for a job.


Exoplanets After Kepler: What’s next?

In the wake of the apparent loss of the Kepler mission, the exoplanet community salutes one of its legends while pivoting to new ground- and space-based opportunities.