Hubble Space Telescope: Pictures, Facts & History

Since its launch in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has provided a dazzling array of images that have awed and inspired the public. More than just pretty pictures, the dozens of terabytes of data collected has provided insight into the universe, from objects as close as the moon to the most remote galaxies, with […]

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Life on Mars: Exploration & Evidence

When imagining locations where extraterrestrial life could potentially dwell, few places inspire the imagination like one of Earth’s closest neighbors. For centuries, man has looked to Mars and imagined it as a home for other beings. Over the last fifty years, various missions to the red planet have sought to determine the probability of such […]

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How Far Away is Mars? | Distance to Mars

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun. It has been a favorite object of skywatchers for centuries and of space explorers for decades. The distance to Mars depends on when you measure it, and which vantage points you’re considering. Just how far away is the Red Planet? Mars orbits the sun in 687 Earth […]

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Kepler-90 System Planet Sizes

The Kepler-90 planets have a similar configuration to our solar system with small planets found orbiting close to their star, and the larger planets found farther away. original

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Kepler-90 Planets Orbit Close to Their Star

Kepler-90 is a Sun-like star, but all of its eight planets are scrunched into the equivalent distance of Earth to the Sun. The inner planets have extremely tight orbits with a “year” on Kepler-90i lasting only 14.4 days. In comparison, Mercury’s orbit is 88 days. Consequently, Kepler-90i has an average surface temperature of 800 degrees […]

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Could Kepler-90 Have More Planets?

This graphic shows that a small area around the Kepler-90 system, on the left, has been searched by the Kepler space telescope. Compared to our solar system, where we know of planets farther out, it is possible that Kepler-90 has even more planets. If planets (in the blue area) do exist, they probably would not […]

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Planetary Systems by Number of Known Planets

This figure shows the number of systems with one, two, three, planets, etc. Each dot represents one known planetary system. We know of more than 2,000 one-planet systems, and progressively fewer systems with many planets. The discovery of Kepler-90i, the first known exoplanet system with eight planets, is a hint of more highly populated… original

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Exoplanet Discoveries

Today, as shown in figure 10, we know of over 3,500 confirmed exoplanets, with more than 2,500 of those found in the Kepler data. These planets range in size from larger than Jupiter to smaller than Earth. In just a couple decades, thanks largely to Kepler, we have gone from suspecting exoplanets existed to knowing […]

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Space, astronomy and science