To truly understand our place in the Universe, astronomers have to dive as deep as they can into the unknown. Exploring exoplanets is a perfect start, as the Universe could unfold many more wonders than we could ever find in our solar system.
Those, plenty of space agencies are bringing out the ‘heavy artillery’ for trying to understand what could exist on exoplanets (planets outside our solar system).
The Cheops telescope joins the action
After a long period of testing, the Cheops Telescope seems ready for the real deal, as it aims to study outstanding exoplanets like the the “lava planet” 55 Cancri-e, the “Styrofoam world” Kelt-11b, and the “evaporating planet” GJ-436b.
55 Cancri-e is an exoplanet that orbits its 55 Cancri A host star. The mass of the cosmic object is about 8.63 Earth masses, and the diameter is about twice the one that our planet has. 55 Cancri e was discovered almost 16 years ago, on 30 August 2004.
KELT-11b is an exoplanet orbiting around a yellow subgiant star KELT-11, which is located about 320 light-years away from our planet. The exoplanet is an inflated planet, being one of the “puffiest planets” known. This is an outcome of its close orbiting distance around its parent star.
Gliese 436 b is a Neptune-sized exoplanet that orbits the red dwarf star Gliese 436. The planet was the first hot Neptune discovered, and it was among the smallest transiting planets in mass and radius.
But clearly the ultimate goal should be to find another planet capable of supporting life. While there are trillions of galaxies in the Universe, and each having billions of stars, chances are theoretically way off the charts that humanity would find another alien civilization somewhere.
There are countless theories regarding alien life forms and the possibility of them to had been visited us in the past. Unfortunately, humanity is far from ever getting some reliable info about any encounter with extraterrestrial beings.