Tag Archives: Exoplanets

An exoplanet or extrasolar planet is a planet that orbits a star other than the Sun.

Proxima Centauri b: Did We Find Earth’s Cousin?

On August 24, 2016, a group of scientists led by Dr. Guillem Anglada-Escude at the Queen Mary University of London, announced the discovery of a terrestrial exoplanet orbiting the red dwarf Proxima Centauri, the nearest known star to the Sun. Proxima Centauri is a Latin idiom, meaning “nearest (star) of Centaurus” (1). The new planet is named Proxima Centauri b and it is predicted to be orbiting within the habitable zone!

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Planet with Three Suns

On March 17, 1941, John W. Campbell, editor of Astounding Science Fiction, asked Isaac Asimov that: “What, if people see the stars once in a thousand of years?” Campbell has had read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1836 essay “Nature” and Emerson was saying in the first chapter that “If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God!”

Campbell wanted Asimov to read that quote, and asked him the question above, “What if people see the stars once in a thousand of years?” Asimov said, “I don’t know…” Campbell said: “I think men would go mad.” And he added: “Now, go and write a story about that.”

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Earth 2.0: Kepler-452b

NASA’s space observatory Kepler may have discovered a possibly Earth-like planet, a rocky world orbiting a Sun-like star at almost the exact same distance Earth orbits our own Sun: Kepler-452b!

“The new Earth” is located 1,400 light-years from us. It orbits a Sun-like star that is 4% more massive and 10% brighter than our Sun. Kepler-452b is 1.6 times the size of Earth and the scientists are fairly sure that it is a rocky world.

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