IN 1992, after decades of fruitless searching and retracted studies, astronomers discovered the first two exoplanets. They were spotted around an inhospitable pulsar 2,300 light-years away. Now, 30 years later, NASA is announcing a huge milestone: 5,000 planets detected beyond our Solar System.
A new batch of 60 planets discovered by the NASA Exoplanet Archive and an additional five planets from other observatories brings the total tally of planets beyond our little home system to 5,005. NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration page is even celebrating the occasion with a small animation.
“These planets are predominately super-Earth and sub-Neptune planets, bigger than Earth but smaller than Neptune, which means they are a mix of rocky and volatile-rich,” Jessie Christiansen, a member of the TESS team and science lead of the NASA Exoplanet Archive, said in a press statement. “There are also a couple of Jupiter-sized planets and even a super-Jupiter.” Read more >