Nature | News

Translations

عربي

The exoplanet files

What we know about alien worlds — and what’s coming next.

Article tools

Twenty years ago this month, astronomers announced the discovery of 51 Pegasi b, the first confirmed planet orbiting a Sun-like star. The hellish gas giant orbits just beyond the searing heat of its parent star, and it opened astronomers’ eyes to the astonishing range of alien worlds that exist throughout the Galaxy.

The tally of known extrasolar planets now stands at 1,978, with nearly 4,700 more candidates waiting to be confirmed. On 29 November, exoplanet researchers will gather in Hawaii to review these extreme solar systems — and map out a path for the next two decades.

Kepler picture redrawn from NASA image

Source: exoplanet.eu

Spectra from D. Deming et al. Astrophys. J. 774, 95–112 (2013), CC-BY-3.0

Source: R. Barnes, V. S. Meadows & N. Evans Astrophys. J. (in the press); Preprint at: http://arxiv.org/abs/1509.08922

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
527,
Pages:
288–289
Date published:
()
DOI:
doi:10.1038/527288a

For the best commenting experience, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will see comments updating in real-time and have the ability to recommend comments to other users.

Comments for this thread are now closed.

Comments

1 comment Subscribe to comments

  1. Avatar for Xinhang Shen
    Xinhang Shen
    This is a great achievement as these exoplanets will be new homes of our earth-originated human beings. Though they are many light years away, we should be able to invent faster-than-light spaceships propelling the medium of gravitation which delivers gravitational forces at a speed much faster than the speed of light because STR has been disproved ( https://spie.org/Publications/Proceedings/Paper/10.1117/12.2185474 ) and in principle there is no speed limit in the nature.
sign up to Nature briefing

What matters in science — and why — free in your inbox every weekday.

Sign up

Listen

new-pod-red

Nature Podcast

Our award-winning show features highlights from the week's edition of Nature, interviews with the people behind the science, and in-depth commentary and analysis from journalists around the world.