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How Astrobiology Could Be Scientific

Despite its propensity for wild speculation about life in space, there's one way Astrobiology could provide useful science.

Cut the Habitable Worlds by Half (or More)

Astrobiologists figure that most earth-like planets give off toxic gases.

Hope, Not Evidence, Drives Astrobiology

Earth-size exoplanets are not evidence for alien life. They are evidence for orbiting bodies.

Extrasolar Planets: Bigger and More Mortal

Many of the stars and planets found by the Kepler spacecraft are not earthlike. Also, astronomers have seen planets destroyed by their stars.

Tilt-A-World: Another Constraint on Habitability

Did you ever ride a Tilt-A-Whirl, one of those cheap carnival rides that makes you dizzy and sick? Our planet would be like that if its inclination were out of control. Without tilt stability, a new study reveals, we wouldn't be sick, we'd be dead, or never alive in the first place. It's not enough to be in the Habitable Zone. Would-be inhabited planets need to avoid a new problem, called “tilt erosion.”
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