the best science on the web about
exoplanets

Eyes on Exoplanets
Image: iStockphoto.com/Pitris

Eyes on Exoplanets

Imagine spotting a firefly next to a searchlight from about 2,500 miles (4,000 km) away. That's comparable to what astronomers do when they find planets around other stars.

By now, they've found about 1,800 of these exoplanets (that is, extrasolar planets), including a few that might have water and life. Want to know more? Want to find an exoplanet yourself? Explore this page.

NASA
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Found! 3 Super-Earth Planets that Could Support Alien Life

Found! 3 Super-Earth Planets that Could Support Alien Life

An international team of scientists found 3 planets in the "habitable zone" around the star Gilese 667C. Take a closer look at this star, 22 light years away from our planet, and its "super-Earths." More...

Article
Space.com
New Radio Wave Technique Could Detect Alien Planets

New Radio Wave Technique Could Detect Alien Planets

Don't expect news on the hour from the Big Dipper. But in some cases we might expect to pick up naturally produced radio signals from planets far, far away. More...

Article
Space.com
PacSci-Doku: Naming Opportunity

PacSci-Doku: Naming Opportunity

More than 300 planets orbit distant stars and most currently have obscure scientific names. Solve this puzzle to find out what these astronomical objects are called — and how to help name them. More...

Game
Pacific Science Center
There Are (Probably) Billions of Earth-Like Planets in the Universe

There Are (Probably) Billions of Earth-Like Planets in the Universe

The Kepler space telescope's survey of 42,000 Sun-like stars let astronomers estimate that about 1 in 5 have planets that might hold life. And that is an "astoundingly large number." More...

Article
The Atlantic
Cousin of Earth: Planet Kepler-186f

Cousin of Earth: Planet Kepler-186f

It's about Earth-sized. It orbits in the "habitable zone" of its solar system. Could Kepler-186f have life, potentially even intelligent life? More...

Article
Space.com
Extrasolar Planets

Extrasolar Planets

Want the latest on exoplanets: where they are, how big they are, and more? Then check out the text on this site. More...

Article
BBC
False Signs of Life on Alien Worlds

False Signs of Life on Alien Worlds

Once, it seemed definite that finding certain chemicals in an exoplanet's air would mean that that planet held life. But not any more. More...

Article
AAAS
First Light Images Emerge from Gemini Planet Imager

First Light Images Emerge from Gemini Planet Imager

From the ground, this new imager can view exoplanets 10 million times fainter than their stars. How? By using the most advanced kind of "adaptive optics." More...

Article
Science Daily
How Do Artists Portray Exoplanets They’ve Never Seen?

How Do Artists Portray Exoplanets They’ve Never Seen?

Exoplanets can only be detected indirectly, with the assistance of a spectrometer. But artists create detailed images of these new worlds. Find out how realistic these images might be. More...

Images
Scientific American
Hubble Telescope Reveals Super-Planets Covered in Alien Clouds

Hubble Telescope Reveals Super-Planets Covered in Alien Clouds

Pushing the Hubble telescope to its limit, astronomers have analyzed clouds around a planet 40 light years away. These clouds are quite different from the ones here on Earth. More...

Article
Space.com
Interstellar Trip Planner

Interstellar Trip Planner

Think you might ever visit an exoplanet? Find out how long would it take to get to various nearby planets and stars on a plane, a conventional spacecraft, or even one moving (somehow) at light speed. More...

Interactive
NASA
Planet Hunters

Planet Hunters

Want to be able to say, "I found a new planet"? So much data has poured in from the Kepler space telescope that astronomers have turned to the public for help sorting through it. More...

Interactive
Zooniverse
PlanetQuest: The Search for Another Earth

PlanetQuest: The Search for Another Earth

What's happening now in the search for exoplanets? What have we learned? What are the astronomers doing next? You'll find a ton of exoplanet info here.
More...

Article
NASA/JPL
Sara Seager

Sara Seager

"There is absolutely an Earth twin out there," says Professor Sara Seager of MIT. Her journey to becoming a leading exoplanet hunter began on a camping trip when she looked up at the night sky. More...

Profile
MacArthur Foundation
Tatooine, Vulcan, and Other Incredible Planets Beyond Earth

Tatooine, Vulcan, and Other Incredible Planets Beyond Earth

The Kepler Space Telescope's main goal was to find Earth-like planets, but it found some amazing non-Earth-like ones, too, including one where Luke Skywalker would have felt at home. More...

Article
PBS NewsHour
The Strangest Alien Planets: Image Gallery

The Strangest Alien Planets: Image Gallery

Artists have turned what we know about exoplanets into a gallery of wonders. See a water planet, a diamond planet, a planet with 3 suns, and much more. More...

Images
Space.com
Want to Find Alien Life? It Will Take a Lot of Luck

Want to Find Alien Life? It Will Take a Lot of Luck

Will scientists soon find life on another planet? Will they ever? Check out this article, and don't miss the accompanying video. More...

Video
Space.com

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