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Articles on Exoplanets

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Astronomers have found a way to estimate the number of stars in the universe. Comstock Images via Getty Images

How many stars are there in space?

Scientists have a good estimate on the staggering number of stars in the universe.
The James Webb Space Telescope is the biggest orbital telescope ever built and is scheduled to be launched into space on Dec. 18, 2021. NASA/Desiree Stover

James Webb Space Telescope: An astronomer on the team explains how to send a giant telescope to space – and why

The largest orbital telescope ever made will allow astronomers to study the atmospheres of alien planets, learn about how stars form in the Milky Way and peer into the farthest reaches of the universe.
Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the solar system and is home to a potentially habitable planet. Hubble/European Space Agency/WikimediaCommons

Massive flare seen on the closest star to the solar system: What it means for chances of alien neighbors

Astronomers just measured the largest flare ever from Proxima Centauri, humanity’s closest neighboring star. These flares could be bad news for life trying to develop on a planet orbiting the star.
NASA’s James Webb telescope mirror undergoing cryogenic testing. Ball Aerospace/Flickr

Six space missions to look forward to in 2021

India may land on the Moon this coming year, while Nasa will launch its new, powerful rocket farther into space than any other human rated spacecraft.
Artist’s depiction of a flare-coronal mass ejection event on Proxima Centauri. Mark Myers, ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav)

Bad space weather may make life impossible near Proxima Centauri

We observed a powerful flare and a huge burst of radio waves from our nearest stellar neighbour, Proxima Centauri, indicating violent space weather around the star.
A planet-forming disk made from rock and gas surrounds a young star. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/ Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Doran

Even planets have their (size) limits

Why isn’t there an endless variety of planets in the universe? An astrophysicist explains why planets only come in two flavors.

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