What's up in
A Close Look at Newborn Planets Reveals Hints of Infant Moons
Astronomers have discovered a complex planetary system still swirling into existence.
As Planet Discoveries Pile Up, a Gap Appears in the Pattern
Astronomers are puzzling over a paucity of planets in the galaxy measuring between 1.5 and two times Earth’s size.
The Scientist Who Cooks Up the Skies of Faraway Worlds
Astronomers will soon take their first glance at the atmosphere of a distant exoplanet. Sarah Hörst is writing the guidebook for these exoplanetary explorers, one that will reveal what a distinctive atmosphere says about the world underneath.
Planets Found to Be Larger Than the Disks They Come From
The new finding is challenging established theories of how planets come to be.
Why Earth’s Cracked Crust May Be Essential for Life
Life needs more than water alone. Recent discoveries suggest that plate tectonics has played a critical role in nourishing life on Earth. The findings carry major consequences for the search for life elsewhere in the universe.
Stellar Disks Reveal How Planets Get Made
Detailed images of disks swirling around young stars show the details of how solar systems come to be.
Exoplanet Puzzle Cracked by Jazz Musicians
A system of seven Earth-like exoplanets appeared to be unstable. Now their orbits have been rewritten in the music of the spheres.
Scientists Debate Signatures of Alien Life
Searching for signs of life on faraway planets, astrobiologists must decide which telltale biosignature gases to target.
Peering Into the Early Universe
Three “extremely large telescopes” poised to begin observations within a decade could help answer some of the universe’s oldest and best-kept secrets.