CLOSE TO HOME A nearby dim red star hosts three possibly rocky worlds, similar to those illustrated here, that are close enough to Earth to search for signs of life.
PUTTING EYES ON EXOPLANETS A suite of current and future telescopes (including, from left, Spitzer, TESS, Hubble, James Webb and WFIRST-AFTA) could identify remote habitable worlds and peer into the newfound atmospheres for hints of alien biology.
CONSTRUCTION AHEAD A ring of carbon monoxide gas (blue) and dust (red) roughly 300 times as wide as Earth’s orbit encircles the binary star HD 142527 (not visible) in this composite image. The dust concentration might be a region where planetary building blocks are forming.
A. Isella/Rice Univ., B. Saxton/NRAO/AUI and NSF, ALMA/NRAO, ESO, NAOJ