Exoplanets

Some exoplanets seem to have walked directly out of the best science fiction movies. Worlds made of diamond? Volcano covered surfaces? Mysterious magnetic storms? We’ve discovered single exoplanets orbiting two stars and as many as seven exoplanets orbiting a single star. We’ve probed the planet-forming disks that spawn these alien worlds, and we’re even starting to map the weather on these distant planets.

Here Sky & Telescope offers the latest exoplanet news, from super-Earths to hot Jupiters. We’ll continue monitoring results from the Kepler mission, the Hubble Space Telescope, and more as astronomers come up with new and creative methods for studying these alien worlds. We’ll probe the mysteries of the TRAPPIST-1 system, report on the furthest known planets, and share more about their atmospheres, likelihood of habitability, and other properties as they are determined. The hunt for Earth 2.0 is on as we attempt to answer the age-old question: “are we alone?”

A Partly Cloudy Exoplanet

Direct imaging of exoplanets was once only possible for the brightest of planets orbiting the dimmest of stars — but new observations of the Jupiter-like exoplanet 51 Eridani b provide tantalizing clues about its atmosphere.