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An Exoplanet or Extra Solar Planet is a planet orbiting another sun or star outside the Solar System.

What astronomers think

Astronomers are searching for exoplanets because it is possible that some, perhaps many of them of them may sustain alien life. [1] SETI is seriously looking for alien signals. As of 2019 there are over 4,000 known. [1] More are continually discovered, Most known exoplanets are Gas giants at least as big as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Some are many times heavier than Jupiter.

An exoplanet has been discovered with water in its Atmosphere at a good temperature for life. There may be life on that planet, astronomers don't know yet. [2]

Smaller exoplanet

As of February 2011 54 potentially habitable exoplanets had been found. [2].

Smaller exoplanets may be very common [3] but are harder to find with present instruments but some could sustain life like the Earth, we don't know yet. COROT-Exo-7b is one of the smallest yet discovered and has a diameter less than twice that of Earth. Scientists expected such planets before it was found and were not surprised to find it. Kepler 10b is certainly a rocky planet like Earth [4] but COROT-Exo-7b and Kepler 10b orbit close to their suns and must be too hot for our kind of life. Others like COROT-Exo-7b may be at the best distance for life. [5] Scientists plan to look for water and oceans on exoplanets as water sustains our type of life. [3] Kepler 22 is at a distance from its sun where liquid water is likely [6] as are Kepler 186f and Kepler 438b. [7]

See also


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