Kepler Telescope Discovers Most Earth-Like Planet Yet: A nearly Earth-size planet orbits in a star’s habitable zone, detected by NASA astronomers. Red sunshine, seas, and maybe aliens? Scientists analyzing data from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope today report the closest thing yet to another Earth, a world in a habitable orbit around a red dwarf star some 493 light-years away. Read More | Illustration by NASA/JPL-CALTECH/T. PYLE
All 786 planets (as of June 2012) to scale. | This is our solar system. The rest of these orbit other stars and were only discovered recently. Most of them are huge because those are the kind we learned to detect first, but now we're finding that small ones are actually more common. We know nothing about what's on any of them. With better telescopes, that would change. This is an exciting time.