Exoplanets Are The Future

Illustration for article titled Exoplanets Are The Future

WISH UPON AN EXOPLANET | Exoplanet art, via the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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There might be two billion Earth-like planets just in our galaxy

The recent exoplanet spotting by NASA's Kepler probe revealed there might be more than a million Earth-like planets in our galaxy. Now a new estimate says as many as 1 out of every 37 sun-like stars has an Earth-like world. More »


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The First New Home For Humans

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Go ahead and drive your SUV to the plastic factory: The French have discovered the first habitable planet in another solar system. It's called Gliese 581d, and it's a mere 20 light years away. More »


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Incredible Earthlike planet has the density of solid lead

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At first, the exoplanet 55 Cancri e didn't look all that impressive: just another large rocky planet circling its star every couple of days. But a recalculation of its orbit has revealed that it's the galaxy's densest known planet. More »


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Worlds orbiting red dwarf stars may have black forests

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There are plenty of things we take for granted. One is that most plants are green. Find out why that might not be true on other planets. More »


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How do we take pictures of exoplanets?

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If you're trying to get actual images of exoplanets, it helps to look at M-dwarfs, particularly young ones. More »


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The sad fate of a demoted, briefly Earth-like exoplanet

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Of the 1235 possible planets discovered by NASA's Kepler telescope, one of the most exciting was KOI 326.01, which appeared to be roughly Earth's size and temperature. But it turns out the planet's habitability is just a big clerical error. More »


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All 1,200 newly discovered exoplanets orbiting in one gigantic solar system

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This amazing video brings together all 1,236 exoplanet candidates that the Kepler telescope has spotted, and it imagines how they would look all together in a single solar system. All the planets are to scale and in the correct relative positions to their star. Prepare to be blown away by just how crowded our galaxy has gotten. More »


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Mysterious "hot spot" on alien planet leaves scientists baffled

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Have we discovered an alien colony? That's one sensationalistic but nevertheless awesome possible explanation for the strange "hot spot" discovered on exoplanet Upsilon Andromedae b, 44 light-years from Earth. More »


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Retrograde world could mean there are tons of planets around binary stars

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Astronomers believed that binary star systems were too volatile to support many planets, because the overlapping gravitational forces of the two stars would pull most planets apart. But one exoplanet 69 light-years away survives just fine...by orbiting the wrong way. More »


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Two massive gas giants are locked in an unusual orbital dance

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Around the gigantic, dying star HD 200964, two gas giants bigger than Jupiter are locked in an orbital dance, closer together than any two planets of their size ever should be, hanging on only because their movements are perfectly synchronized. More »


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