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TrES-2 was identified from observations made with the 10-cm telescopes, Sleuth and PSST. Credit: Caltech
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Computer simulation of a transit of TrES-2. Credit: Jeffrey Hall, Lowell Observatory
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Artist concept of Sim PlanetQuest. Image credit: NASA/JPL
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Artist's concept of a planet 3.2 times more massive than Earth. This image is part of a graph that shows the number of potentially habitable planets the Space Interferometry Mission PlanetQuest would have the sensitivity to find. Click on the link below for the full graph. Image credit: NASA/JPL
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COROT, due for launch in late 2006, will be the first spacecraft devoted to the search for rocky planets, similar to our own Earth. It will look for the tiny drop in light caused by a planet as it slips across the face of its parent star. Credits: CNES/D.Ducros
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Photo of the COROT's telescope primary mirror, manufactured by SAGEM/REOSC. Credits: Sagem
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This artist´ impression shows the surface of a possible exoplanet placed at exactly the right distance from its parent star for liquid water to exist on its surface. Credits: ESA. Illustration by Medialab
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COROT captured its first image while viewing the constellation of the Unicorn near Orion. Credit: CNES
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Barrie Jones, Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at The Open University in the UK.
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Binary and multiple-star systems are about twice as abundant as single-star systems in our galaxy. In a typical binary system, two stars of roughly similar masses twirl around each other like pair-figure skaters. In some systems, the two stars are very far apart and barely interact with each other. In other cases, the stellar twins are intricately linked, whipping around each other quickly due to the force of gravity. Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have revealed that mature planetary systems -- dusty disks of asteroids, comets and possibly planets --are more frequent around binary stars than single stars like our sun. That means sunsets like the one portrayed in this artist's photo concept, and more famously in the movie "Star Wars," might be quite commonplace in the universe. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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This diagram illustrates that mature planetary systems like our own might be more common around twin, or binary, stars that are either really close together, or really far apart. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope observed that debris disks, which are signposts of mature planetary systems, are more abundant around the tightest and widest of binary stars it studied. Specifically, the infrared telescope found significantly more debris disks around binary stars that are 0 to 3 astronomical units apart (top panel) and 50 to 500 astronomical units apart (bottom panel) than binary stars that are 3 to 50 astronomical units apart (middle panel). The Spitzer data also revealed that debris disks circle all the way around both members of a close-knit binary (top panel), but only a single member of a wide duo (bottom panel). This could explain why the intermediately spaced binary systems (middle panel) can be inhospitable to planetary disks: they are too far apart to support one big disk around both stars, and they are too close together to have enough room for a disk around just one star. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ.of Ariz.
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The Trapezium star cluster in the heart of the Orion Nebula, 1500 light
years from Earth
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The Submillimeter Array site of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory atop Mauna
Kea, Hawaii, is one of the six small, wide-field "HAT" telescopes that make up HATNet.
Credit: HATNet

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As a planet passes in front of its parent star, the brightness of the
star decreases.
Credit: Hans Deeg
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This image shows the light 'drop' due to a planet transit seen by COROT.
The amount of light from the star reaching COROT decreases each time the
planet passes in front of the star itself.
Credit: COROT exo-team
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Laser vaporizes a diamond cell, inducing a shock wave that produces
pressures over 10 million times atmospheric pressure, greater than the pressure at
Earth's core. The experiment was conducted at the Omega laser facility operated by
the University of Rochester in New York. Photo credit: Raymond Jeanloz/UC Berkeley.
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This computer-generated animation begins with a rough map of the planet HD 189733b,
as measured with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers obtained a series of
pole-to-pole strips in infrared light, then wrapped that map around a 3-d surface to
show what the planet looks like.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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A full-globe map of the "hot Jupiter" planet HD 189733b. The map reveals a "hot
spot" that is offset from the substellar point (high noon) by about 30 degrees. The
offset may indicate jet stream winds of up to 6,000 mph.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Heather Knutson (CfA)
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An artist's conception of HD 189733b, which some have dubbed the "Bulls-eye" planet
because of the bright "hot spot" shown here.

Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)
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McDonald Observatory's Hobby-Eberly Telescope sits atop Mt. Fowlkes in the Davis
Mountains of West Texas.

Credit: Marty Harris/McDonald Observatory
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An artist's concept of the Neptune-sized planet GJ436b (right) orbiting
an M dwarf star, Gliese 436, at a distance of only 3 million miles.
Copyright: Lynnette Cook
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IMAGE 2: orbit.jpg
The ice giant planet GJ436b is like a hot-Neptune that orbits Gliese 436
every 2.6 days.
Copyright: Lynnette Cook
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Drawing of the predicted interior of an ice-giant planet like GJ436b or
Credit: Jason Wright/UC Berkeley
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A structural comparison of solar type and red dwarf stars. A high resolution image
is available at click here
Credit: ESO
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The MMT is operated by the MMT Observatory (MMTO), a joint venture of the
Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona.
Credit: Howard Lester, MMTO
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The Very Large Telescope array (VLT) consists of four Unit Telescopes with main
mirrors of 8.2m diameter and four movable 1.8m diameter Auxiliary Telescopes.
Credit: ESO
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Dust orbits in a needle-shaped ring around the star HD 15115 in this Hubble Space
Telescope image.
Credit: NASA \ ESA \ UC Berkeley
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This artist's concept illustrates a quadruple-star system.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
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Penn State astronomers have discovered a planet orbiting a red dwarf star. It is the first planet discovered using the Hobby-Eberly Telescope.
Credit: Penn State
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The new planet orbits a star 300 light years from Earth, in the constellation Perseus. Perseus can be seen from the northern hemisphere of Earth and is named after the Greek hero who slew Medusa. Click image to enlarge.
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The STARE telescope at the Observatorio del Teide, Canary Islands, Spain, is the
third telescope in the Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey network and also played an
important role in identifying TrES-4.
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A computer-generated image of TrES-4, with its host star on the right. The planet's
home star is bigger and hotter than the Sun, and is about ten times larger than the
planet. Astronomers speculate that the large size and low density of TrES-4 may
cause a small fraction of its outer atmosphere to escape from the planet´
gravitational pull and form an envelope, or a comet-like tail around the planet.
Credit: Jeffrey Hall, Lowell Observatory.

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Artist's concept of an Earth-like planet in an alien solar system. Credit: NASA/PlanetQuest.
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This image represents planet "V 391 Pegasi b" as it survives the red
giant expansion of its dying sun.
Credit: HELAS, the European Helio- and Asteroseismology Network.
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The Whole Earth Telescope Project is a collection of telescopes around
the world that are run as a single instrument with many operators. The
network was established in 1986 in order to obtain uninterrupted
time-series measurements of variable stars.
Credit: WDRC / WET Project
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Dust disk of AU Microscopii as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope.
High resolution image available at:
Credit: NASA
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Dust disk of Fomalhaut as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. High
resolution image available at: View
Credit: NASA

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Dust disk of Beta Pictoris as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. High
resolution image available at: View
Credit: NASA
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Artist´ conception of an extrasolar planet with an orbiting moon.
Credit:David A. Hardy, (c)
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McDonald Observatory´ Hobby-Eberly Telescope sits atop Mt. Fowlkes in the Davis Mountains of West Texas.
Credit: Marty Harris/McDonald Observatory
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This artist's concept illustrates two planetary systems - 55 Cancri (top) and our own.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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This artist's concept shows planets that orbit 55 Cancri, a star much like our own.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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This image depicts the orbit of the new planet discovered around 55 Cancri. The
green band marks the star's "habitable zone".
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Artist's rendition of a one-million-year-old star system.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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In June of 2001, the Optical Gravitation Lensing Experiment began its third phase
(OGLE III). Since then, regular observations have been made at the Las Campanas
Observatory in Chile.
Credit: OGLE
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Microlensing has led to the discovery of previous extrasolar planets. This is an
example of light curves produced from the microlensing event OGLE-2005-BLG-071. At
the peak of the event there is a deviation from the expected light curve for the
observed star (which can be seen as a dip in the peak, and is shown in the image
inset). This deviation was used to detect a planet several times the size of
Jupiter. Now the technique is being used to detect smaller and smaller planets.
Credit: OGLE, MicroFUN, MOA, PLANET, and RoboNet sites.
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NASA´ Kepler spacecraft will search for Earth-size planets around more than 100,000 stars. Credit: NASA
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Mercury can be seen transiting the sun in this image captured by NASA´ Solar Optical telescope onboard the Japanese satellite Hinode.
Credit: Hinode JAXA/NASA/PPARC
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Engineers assemble Kepler´ primary mirror. Credit: Ball Aerospace
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This is an image from the computer simulation of HL Tau and its
surrounding disk. In the model the dense clump (seen here at top right)
forms with a mass of about 8 times that of Jupiter at a distance from
the star about 75 times that from the Earth to the Sun.
Image: Ken Rice (Royal Observatory Edinburgh), J. Greaves (St Andrews),
A. Richards / T. Muxlow (Jodrell Bank)
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