Solar System Chatter

More Exoplanet Wonder

The biggest news since scientists first discovered exoplanets didn’t come from a space telescope. In August, astronomers using the La Silla Observatory in Chile announced that an Earth-size planet is orbiting Proxima Centauri, just 4.2 light-years away—the nearest star outside our solar system.

But even with thousands of exoplanet discoveries, the Kepler space telescope is still making extraordinary finds, like the system known as Kepler-80, in which five planets are orbiting a star in an area about 150 times smaller than Earth’s orbit around the sun. Scientists think the planets may have migrated to smaller orbits while they were forming, causing them to lock into synchronized orbits.

Heather Goss is the Departments Editor at Air & Space.

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