Report: Search for habitable planets should be more conservative

Scientists should take the conservative approach when searching for habitable zones where life-sustaining planets might exist, according to James Kasting, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Penn State, including when building Terrestrial Planet Finders.

Astronomers answer key question: How common are habitable planets?

NASA's Kepler spacecraft, now crippled and its four-year mission at an end, nevertheless provided enough data to complete its mission objective: to determine how many of the 100 billion stars in our galaxy have potentially habitable planets.

How scientists search for habitable planets

There is only one planet we know of, so far, that is drenched with life. That planet is Earth, as you may have guessed, and it has all the right conditions for critters to thrive on its surface. Do other planets beyond our solar system, called exoplanets, also host life forms?

Four in ten nearby stars may host habitable planets

There could be a lot more potentially habitable planets out there than previously thought, and some of them could be very nearby.

ESA mulls three future missions

The European Space Agency (ESA) has picked out dark energy, habitable planets and a detailed solar survey as candidates for two missions to be launched sometime after 2017.