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Articles on Exoplanet discovery

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An artist’s conception of WASP-18b, a giant exoplanet that orbits very close to its star. X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/I.Pillitteri et al; Optical: DSS

A real-life deluminator for spotting exoplanets by reflected starlight

Sometimes it is difficult to take a photograph of an exoplanet because the star illuminating it is too bright. Now there is a new 'deluminator' telescope that can block out the extra light.
Landscape in the Var area of France with fossilised Permian pelites (Permian Middle, 270 Ma) and “muddle cracks”.

An exoplanet within arm’s reach: the Earth

The geological and biological archives of the Earth shed light on both the distant past of our planet and allow us to imagine its future.
An artist’s impression of the surface of the planet orbiting Barnard’s Star. ESO - M. Kornmesser

A super-Earth found in our stellar back yard

The new planet is believed to be orbiting Barnard's Star, a red dwarf that's not visible to the naked eye but one of the closest stars to our Solar System.
An artist’s impression of the exoplanet in close orbit to a star. ESA, NASA, G. Tinetti (University College London, UK & ESA) and M. Kornmesser (ESA/Hubble)

We’ve found an exo-planet with an extraordinarily eccentric orbit

A solitary planet in an eccentric orbit around an ancient star may help astronomers understand exactly how such planetary systems are formed.
An artist’s concept of what it could look like on the surface of one of the exoplanets of TRAPPIST-1. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Seven Earth-sized planets discovered orbiting a nearby star

Several of the newly-discovered exoplanets orbiting a small star appear to be locked in an intricate dance that hints at how such planetary systems can form.
Have we really discovered other “Earth-like” planets orbiting around other stars? Understanding what we do and do not know about exoplanets is the key to answering this question. ESO/L. Calcada/N. Risinger/Reuters

Until we get better tools, excited reports of ‘habitable planets’ need to come back down to Earth

Over the last 20 years, advances in the field of exoplanet discovery have excited the imaginations of scientists and enthusiasts alike. But we're in position to know yet whether a planet is habitable.

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