More Exoplanets!

We'll soon reach the point, if we haven't already, where the discovery of additional exoplanets is ho-hum news. For shame! Since this is a fertile new area of exploration, and I predict there will be big revelations in this field in the next ten years.

Regardless, excitement should pick up with the release of actual pictures. There's actually a few competing claims for the title of "First pic of an exoplanet". This is another contender. B is the definite planet - they think C might be one as well, but not sure. You see part of the problem here -- too close to the star and we are blinded. So we'll have a hard time finding earth like planets in earth like orbits for years to come, other than through indirect means (the gravity wobble detection system that to date has discovered 99% of the exoplanets).

This picture should also give you a sense of how huge space is, how massively gigantic . This planet orbits at about where Neptune orbits in our Solar System - way out. But as this picture makes clear, even solar systems are tiny on an astronomical scale - just atoms floating in the ocean, really.

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