The image you’re looking at is a rare and beautiful event. Every 115 years, Venus crosses our Sun in Earth’s line of sight—twice. And when the most recent crossing took place, scientists used the event to take a peek at Venus’s atmosphere, refining tools that’ll one day help astronomers search distant worlds for signs…
Imagine you're outside, walking happily on a beautiful sunny day. Suddenly, the light gets intense. You look up, and see a bright flash filling everything. Seconds later, a powerful wind starts pushing the clouds out of view at hypersonic speed. Buildings, trees, and people fly away, disintegrating into a billion…
It's name is TrES-2b, but I think they should call it Mordor. According to scientists, it's so close to its star that its atmosphere burns at 1832ºF. But, for some mysterious reason, the planet absorbs almost 100% of the light:
Using math way more complicated than I fully understand, a scientific paper predicts that we will find a potentially habitable Earth-like planet by early May 2011. Oh.
This isn't our Sun. This other sun is 470 light-years away from our home. Its name is 1RXS J160929.1-210524, and the orange sphere near it has been confirmed today as an orbiting planet. The first photo of an extra-solar planet.
This is how I imagine GJ1214b, a super-Earth discovered only forty light-years away from us, orbiting a red dwarf star in the constellation of Ophiuchus. The good news: It's three parts water. The bad news: The beaches are too hot.