Cool Posters of Newly discovered Exoplanets

Newly discovered Exoplanets: NASA makes Sci-fi Movie Posters

NASA has really outdone itself by releasing fantastic high-resolution posters on three newly discovered exoplanets. The planet all have various characteristics depending on their size and around what type of star they orbit. This is a great initiative to generate some interest about astronomy, kudos to NASA.

 

newly discovered exoplanets

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Twice as big in volume as the Earth, HD 40307g straddles the line between “Super-Earth” and “mini-Neptune” and scientists aren’t sure if it has a rocky surface or one that’s buried beneath thick layers of gas and ice. One thing is certain though: at eight time the Earth’s mass, its gravitational pull is much, much stronger.

 

newly discovered exoplanets

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Like Luke Skywalker’s planet “Tatooine” in Star Wars, Kepler-16b orbits a pair of stars. Depicted here as a terrestrial planet, Kepler-16b might also be a gas giant like Saturn. Prospects for life on this unusual world aren’t good, as it has a temperature similar to that of dry ice. But the discovery indicates that the movie’s iconic double-sunset is anything but science fiction.

 

 

Newly discovered exoplanets

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Kepler-186f is the first Earth-size planet discovered in the potentially ‘habitable zone’ around another star, where liquid water could exist on the planet’s surface. Its star is much cooler and redder than our Sun. If plant life does exist on a planet like Kepler-186f, its photosynthesis could have been influenced by the star’s red-wavelength photons, making for a color palette that’s very different than the greens on Earth. This discovery was made by Kepler, NASA’s planet hunting telescope.

 

The posters are available in insane resolutions: here, here and here. This was a pretty nifty concept and a great way to drum up some interest about astronomy and the exoplanet hunt. It’s unfortunate that the names of the planets suck so hard. NASA needs to start a naming department or establish a naming scheme that enables astronomers to name the planets with real names instead of these dreary numbers and letters combinations.