The new planet-hunting telescope TESS was successfully launched today by NASA, and Australia will play a key role in checking out any new worlds it discovers.
When NASA first started planning the Kepler mission, no one knew if the universe held any planets outside our solar system. Thousands of exoplanets later, the search enters a new phase.
The number of known exoplanets doubled this week to more than 3,200. But why have only a handful of these those new planets caught people's imagination?
The increasingly rapid pace of exoplanet discoveries must mean it is only a matter of time until astronomers find another Earth.
It's regarded as a Biblical myth, but what the magi are supposed to have seen is rooted in astronomy.