The exoplanetary zoo is full of weird and wonderful standouts. Whether it’s planets with winds of ruby and sapphire, planets of diamond, planets as old as the universe or younger than our species, or planets hotter than the surface of the Sun—if you can imagine it, it’s out there. Here’s our roundup of the weirdest planets in the universe.
Space exploration has come a long way since the first primitive satellites—we’ve visited all the canonical planets, and laid the groundwork for the next stage of discovery and colonization. A new, more lasting space race is about to begin. Here’s the second part of our 100-year forecast of future space exploration.
Proxima b might be too close to its star.
Astronomers tell us that the Sun, in about 7 billion years, will expand into a bloated red giant—wreaking havoc on the inner planets, and even destroying the Earth. So, in order to satisfy our morbid curiosity, we present a roundup of the doomed planets of dead and dying stars around the galaxy.
CHARIS spectra can also measure planets' temperatures and atmosphere compositions.
Proxima b could potentially be an "ocean planet."
But don't pack your bags just yet.
We may have to make life happen beyond our planet.
They tug, transit, eclipse, reflect, and microlense. Some shine faintly in the infrared. The bottom line is: exoplanets are hard to find. But astronomers have developed some pretty clever techniques for detecting these elusive worlds—and we’ve put together this infographic to show you how it’s done.
With the discovery of Proxima b, astronomers have finally found a potentially habitable planet around the nearest star to Earth. In honor of that finding, we’ve compiled a list of the most promising real estate in the galaxy—the many strange worlds that may now or someday host life as we know it.
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