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We're seeing other systems that are all over the map, so that in itself is interesting.This is really a huge step for us to start to fill in what we know about the universe around us."This artist’s impression shows the planet HD 85512b orbiting the Sun-like star HD 85512 about 35 light-years from Earth.This so-called habitable zone is located at just the right distances away from the star so that conditions could allow liquid water to exist on a planet's surface."This is a huge advance," Mc Nutt said.
Alien Planets in the Habitable Zone This year proved to be a bounty for exoplanet research.
In its first 16 months of operation, NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft detected 2,326 potential alien worlds."You can have all kinds of expectations and make all kinds of predictions, but making predictions versus actually finding stuff is a huge difference," Mc Nutt said.
[Top 5 Implications of Finding the Higgs Boson]"It's going to be very interesting to see what becomes of this," Mc Nutt said.
"It would be very surprising if, in the process, we don't come up with new questions.
I knew all the names of the planets and I knew how many moons they all had.
At the time, Saturn had nine moons, Uranus had five, Neptune had two, and Pluto didn't have any.
A telescope from the European Southern Observatory that searches for signs of exoplanets also made enticing finds this year.
The High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher instrument, or HARPS, found more than 50 new alien planets, including one super-Earth that could potentially support life.
NASA's Mercury Messenger probe captured this historic image of Mercury, the first ever obtained from a spacecraft in orbit about the solar system's innermost planet.
The photo was taken on Tuesday (March 29) at am EDT.4.