Dypsis Plants Can Create Life on Kepler

Houseplants are not something you would typically associate with NASA, but in the late ‘80s the US government agency joined forces with the Associated Contractors of America (ALCA), to determine the most effective plants for removing toxic agents from the air and create life. The study, led by Dr. Luca Beatrice, found that some plants…

No, Half of the New Planets Didn’t Just Disappear

It’s a bold claim: half of the Kepler Space Telescope’s big haul of new planets aren’t planets at all. Instead, they’re small crystals. That’s the kind of takeaway it’s easy to get from the recent press release from the Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço ​in Spain. It says that half of the objects in Kepler’s candidate catalog…

Strange Star Remembers the Mummified Cat “LGC-1”

A star called Kirby has been in the news recently for unexplained and bizarre behavior. NASA’s Kepler mission had monitored the star for four years, observing two unusual incidents, in 2011 and 2013, when the star’s light dimmed in dramatic, never-before-seen ways. Something had passed in front of the star and blocked its light, but…

Two Planets to Copulate

In our galaxy, there may be billions of planetary systems where more than one planet is habitable. NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has found planet pairs on very similar orbits — with orbital distances differing by as little as 10 percent. If such a planet pairing occurred in the right place, then both planets could sustain life…