Volcanic hydrogen spurs chances of finding exoplanet life

ITHACA, N.Y. – Hunting for habitable exoplanets now may be easier: Cornell University astronomers report that hydrogen pouring from volcanic sources on planets throughout the universe could improve the chances of locating life in the cosmos. Planets located great distances from stars freeze over. “On frozen planets, any potential life would be buried under layers […]

Sagan Institute director explains what life could be like near Trappist-1

Lisa Kaltenegger, one of the world’s leading experts on exoplanets and the potential for life beyond earth, and director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University, explains why NASA’s discovery is exciting and what life might look like on the seven Earth-like planets discovered near Trappist-1 – planets likely to have very high ultraviolet radiation flux on […]

Forget the moon. Future travel plans could include trips to Proxima Centauri, says Cornell astronomer

Lisa Kaltenegger, director of Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute, is available for independent comment on today’s European Southern Observatory (ESO) announcement regarding a small planet around the flare star Proxima Centauri in the habitable zone. Kaltenegger, who did not take part in the study, is an expert on habitability and how to spot it on other […]

Hunting for hidden life on worlds orbiting old, red stars

ITHACA, N.Y. – All throughout the universe, there are stars in varying phases and ages. Planetary diversity suggests that around other stars, initially frozen worlds could be the size of Earth and provide habitable conditions once the star becomes older. The oldest detected Kepler planets (exoplanets found using NASA’s Kepler telescope) are about 11 billion […]