A New ‘Super-Earth’ Detected –“This is the Kind of Planet We’ve Been Dreaming About for Decades”

Exoplanet Gliese 486b

 

There was a time not too many decades ago when an astronomer suggesting the existence of life-bearing planets beyond our solar system would be considered heresy, albeit without the punishment of house arrest suffered by Galileo until his death in 1642.

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“Alpha Centauri’s Planets” –New Detection Technology Opens Window on Life-Sustaining Worlds

Alpha Centauri

 

Since 1995 when exoplanet explorers from the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz –who were recently awarded half of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of a planet orbiting a sunlike star named 51 Pegasi– thousands of extrasolar planets have been found, including potentially Earth-like worlds, along with bizarre objects that bear no resemblance to any of the planets in our solar system.

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Last Week’s Top 5 Space & Science Headlines –“Planet from Hell to The Unexpected Galaxy”

ESO VLT

 

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“Someone is Looking Back at Us” –Three-Hundred-Million Earth-Like Worlds of the Milky Way

 

"Someone is Looking Back at Us" --Three-Hundred-Million Earth-Like Worlds of the Milky Way

 

“One in 200 stars has habitable Earth-like planets surrounding it – in the galaxy, half a billion stars have Earth-like planets going around them – that’s huge, half a billion. So when we look at the night sky, it makes sense that someone is looking back at us,” says physicist, Michio Kaku, author of The Future of Humanity.

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“Planet from Hell” –Rock Storms, Supersonic Winds, 100-Kilometer-Deep Molten Lava Ocean

Exoplanet K2-141b:

 

Astronomers have discovered a planet so extreme that it that makes our “twisted” sister planet, Venus –with its 900 degrees Fahrenheit heat, corrosive sulfuric clouds, and a surface atmosphere 90 times denser than Earth’s that has crushed nine Soviet probes –seem like a Disney World theme park.

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“The Guardians?” –Jupiter-Like Exoplanets May Help Foster Earth-like Evolution

"The Guardians" --Jupiter-Like Exoplanets May Help Foster Earth-like Evolution

 

“Historically, our assumption has been that the region around Jupiter is fairly empty, cleaned out by the giant planet’s gravity, but our results teach us that there is a region that is constantly being fed,” said Kathryn Volk at the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in 2019 about a constant source of new objects that may help explain the surprising rate of icy body impacts with Jupiter, such as the Shoemaker-Levy 9 event in 1994 when over twenty fragments of comet that collided with Jupiter were observed by astronomers at hundreds of observatories around the world.

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