Books et al.Astronomy

Exploring exoplanets

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Science  17 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6365, pp. 877
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao3927

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In 1995, astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz announced they had detected the first "exoplanet" orbiting a main-sequence star, 51 light years away. Two months later, a team of astronomers led by Geoff Marcy confirmed Mayor's detection and found two more. Within a decade, hundreds of planets orbiting other stars had been detected. NASA's Kepler Telescope, launched into space in 2009, found a few thousand more. The Planet Factory, by Elizabeth Tasker, is the story of these 3000+ planets, "the travel log of how they came to form from dust particles to worlds so diverse that even Hollywood has failed to be weirder."