Report: Earth became habitable 4.4 billion years ago

With the help of a tiny fragment of zircon extracted from a remote rock outcrop in Australia, the picture of how our planet became habitable to life about 4.4 billion years ago is coming into sharper focus.

Scientists reveal Earth’s habitable lifetime and investigate potential for alien life

Findings published today in the journal Astrobiology reveal the habitable lifetime of planet Earth – based on our distance from the sun and temperatures at which it is possible for the planet to have liquid water. The research team looked to the stars for inspiration. Using recently discovered planets outside our solar system (exoplanets) as examples, they investigated the potential for these planets to host life.

'Billions' of planets in habitable zones, says NASA

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered four new planets that are less than twice the size of Earth and which orbit in their star's habitable zone.

This green bridge is habitable

Designs for bridges today seem to have only one purpose: to get people from one side of an impassable space to the other as quickly, and cheaply, as possible.

Tau Ceti has habitable planet, just 12 light years away

One of the closest stars to our own, Tau Ceti, appears to have five planets, including one that's in the so-called habitable zone and could be suitable for life.

Potentially habitable planet found practically in our back-yard

Astronomers have at last discovered a nearby Earth-like planet that could easily have liquid water - and life.

And the weather on Mars is... really very pleasant

Preliminary weather reports from the Curiosity rover’s Remote Environment Monitoring Station (REMS) are showing some surprisingly mild temperatures during the day. 

Habitable planets could be more widespread than thought

There could be seven times as many potentially habitable planets as previously believed, Scottish scientists have calculated.

Life on 'habitable' exoplanet probably couldn't spread

Any life on the 'super-Earth' Gliese 581-d is unlikely to make it off the planet and onto others within its solar system.

Habitable planet has three suns

Astronomers have discovered a potentially habitable planet right on our doorstep - just 22 light years away.

Double star could host habitable planet

Planets with two suns - like Star Wars' Tatooine - could really be habitable, astrophysicists have concluded - and they say they know where to look.

Newly-discovered exoplanets could once have supported life

NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed the first Earth-sized, rocky planets orbiting a star similar to our own, and says it's possible that they could once have harbored life.

New candidate for habitable exoplanet

Scientists from the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace in Paris say they've confirmed that the Gliese 581d exoplanet could support Earth-like life.

Many 'habitable' exoplanets aren't, say astronomers

The so-called 'habitable zone' around low-mass stars is often nothing of the sort, according to astronomers, because of the effect of tides.

NASA discovers first exoplanets that could support life

NASA believes it's discovered its first Earth-sized exoplanets - and five of them are in the 'Goldilocks zone' where conditions are considered favorable for life.

Mars discovery shows 'recent' habitable region

Brown University planetary geologists have identified a spot on Mars which they say could have been one of the most recent habitable microenvironments on the planet.

'Habitable exoplanet' may not exist, says Geneva team

Oh, great. The moving men were booked, we'd said goodbye to the neighbors and we'd given away the cat - and now it seems that there may not be a habitable planet orbiting Gliese 581 after all.

First truly habitable exoplanet found

Astronomers believe they may have found a habitable planet at last, in the widely-studied Gliese 581 system 20 light years away in the constellation of Libra.

Habitable exoplanet could be identified next year

The odds are that a habitable exoplanet will be found by the middle of next year if the rate of discovery continues at its current pace, two scientists say.