James Webb Space Telescope
Kevin Gill https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:James_Webb_Space_Telescope_(14742910940).jpg

Bijan Nemati on What the James Webb Telescope May Discover

Today’s ID the Future explores with physicist and space telescope expert Bijan Nemati the amazing discoveries that may await us when the singularly powerful James Webb space telescope goes on line in summer 2022. Read More ›
Artist’s impression of exoplanet orbiting two stars
This artist’s impression shows a gas giant planet circling the two red dwarf stars in the system OGLE-2007-BLG-349, located 8 000 light-years away. The planet — with a mass similar to Saturn — orbits the two stars at a distance of roughly 480 million kilometres. The two red dwarf stars are a mere 11 million kilometres apart. The artist's impression is based on observations made with Hubble that helped astronomers confirm the existence of a planet orbiting The two stars in the system. The system is too far away for Hubble to take an image of the planet. Instead, its presence was inferred from gravitational microlensing. This phenomenon occurs when the gravity of a foreground star bends and amplifies the light of a background star that momentarily aligns with it. The particular character of the light magnification can reveal clues to the nature of the foreground star and any associated planets. The Hubble observations represent the first time such a three-body system has been confirmed using the gravitational microlensing technique.
An exoplanet (artist’s rendering), by ESA/Hubble [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Exoplanets and the Fermi Paradox

We are living during a golden age of discovery in astronomy. Arguably, it began with the dawning of the space age in 1957. By 1989 our probes had visited every planet in the Solar System (in 2015 New Horizons visited the former planet Pluto). Then, in 1995 we discovered the first planet around another star (an exoplanet). Read More ›