NASA officially confirms more than 5,000 extrasolar planets, including gas giants bigger than Jupiter

nasa astronomy confirms 5000

NASA officially confirms the existence of more than 5,000 exoplanets beyond our solar system, including Earth-like rocky worlds, gas giants several times larger than Jupiter, and even “mini-Neptune,” essentially smaller versions of our system’s Neptune. However, this is only a drop in the Milky Way’s vast ocean, as our galaxy probably contains hundreds of billions of such planets. Read More

What has made many of these discoveries possible is the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), launched in 2018, but soon even more powerful next-generation telescopes, along with their highly sensitive instruments, will accelerate these findings. It all starts with the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope, which is set up to capture light from the atmospheres of exoplanets and read out what gases are present to identify potentially habitable worlds. Launching in 2027, the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope plans to accelerate discoveries of exoplanets using a variety of methods.

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It’s not just a number. Each of them is a new world, a brand new planet. Everyone gets excited because we don’t know anything about it,” said Jessie Christiansen, scientific director for the archive and a research scientist at NASA Exoplanet Science Institute at Caltech in Pasadena.

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