Why havent humans visited any other planets?

Sarah Andrews

Technically, we haven’t had any manned missions to any planets yet. The outer planets, with their high pressures and gaseous compositions that lack a solid surface are unlikely to be entered by humans. Meanwhile the inner planets are, in general, too hostile for us to land on due to their proximity to the Sun – Mercury and Venus are too hot and the pressure on Venus much too high. Only Mars seems to be really within reach and, as a result, this planet has been chosen as something of a happy medium.

Information gathered by previous and current

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The team that started it all

Kepler space telescope

To date, a huge majority of exoplanets we know of have been discovered by the Kepler space telescope team. Launched on 7 March 2009, Kepler sits in an Earth-trailing orbit around the Sun. Before its launch it was considered possible that planets in the universe were rare. Now, however, its thought that almost every star plays host to at least one planet.

The telescope uses photometry to simultaneously observe thousands of stars. It watches for dips in the brightness of these stars as a planet passes in front, known as a transit, and measuring three of these

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Meet the scientists who are hunting for worlds outside our Solar System in an attempt to find Earth-like planets that, like our own, could be hospitable to life.

Written by Jonathan O’Callaghan

Up until 1992 the thought that there might be other sentient life out there in the universe was one that was generally met with incredulity and disbelief. Those branding aliens as real were looked upon disdainfully, and the mere suggestion that humans were just one of many types of life in the cosmos was not one that was given much credibility.

However, the discovery of an exoplanet (one


Super-Earths found orbiting distant star

Not one, but three planets found in Gliese 667C’s habitable zone

Scientists using data from the ESO’s

HARPS (High Accuracy Radial velocity

Planet Searcher) have discovered not one, but three super-Earths orbiting in the stellar habitable zone of Gliese

667C. It’s a record-breaker as far as finding planets where liquid water might exist is concerned, and it means that this habitable zone is as populated with planets as it can get.

“We knew that the star had three planets from previous studies, so we wanted to see whether there were any more,” said Mikko Tuomi, one of the astronomers from

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Methods of finding exoplanets

Transit method

As a planet passes in front of a distant star, it will cause a dip in the brightness of the star relative to us. Therefore, by measuring the brightness of many stars at once, we can detect the transits of planets as they pass in front of a star. This method is useful for finding a lot of planets, and it can also determine the mass and size of the planet as well as its orbital period. It is currently the favoured method of planet hunting, used by NASA’s Kepler telescope among many others.


This method of

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Looking for strange new worlds

SuperWASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets)

While telescopes like Kepler cost hundreds of millions of dollars, planet hunting doesn’t require a fortune to succeed. One such project is SuperWASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets), which at a cost of just half a million dollars has found over 100 planets outside our Solar System. SuperWASP has two robotic observatories, one on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands and the other in South Africa. Each has eight lenses backed by high-quality CCDs to monitor stars and search for new worlds.

“We can’t compete with [the programmes] that find small

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How planets form.

Discover how our home, along with our Solar System neighbours and every other planet in the universe, was born from a chaotic cloud of dust and gas.

In a sense, planetary birth is a side effect of a larger birth: the formation of a star. Stars form from nebulas, massive clouds of gas and dust dominated by hydrogen and helium. Now and then, a disturbance in a nebula concentrates an area of gas and dust into a denser knot of material. If the knot is big enough and dense enough, it will exert enough gravitational pull to collapse in on

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TW olntsepodobnaya star in the constellation of Hydra, which lies about 175 light-years long attracted to the gas from the disk. At the same time, scientists have discovered a planet inside it at a record distance from the star.

Among other benefits, the system TW Hydrae very similar to our Sun, which it was during its infancy. This period is, by the way, lasted only a few million years.

«ALMA gave us the first real picture of the snow line around a young star, which is extremely interesting, because it tells the story of the earliest period of the history of the solar scientists understanding, because it is very near to us shining a protoplanetary disk. In January this year, astronomers have measured the mass of the star. And in June, clearly seen as light «eats»

Game Open Doors.

In the world of strategy games Acclaim known name is about as bad as, say, Accolade. Father mother countless sports simulations, once good "mochilok «and foggy "Turk «rarely turns his gaze in our direction.

When it does happen, we get at least something unusual: a variation on the theme of Magic the Gathering or simulator superintendent … Soon we get acquainted with another creation Acclaim — Machines. Real-time strategy, and the fact that neither has a full 3D, but perhaps there are options?

Nothing fundamentally new this time is expected. Construction of databases, upgrades, and production of robots —

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Some people are still unhappy about Pluto’s demotion to a dwarf planet, but it’s in good company — there are some fascinating celestial bodies in this category.

What makes a planet a planet? We’ve been debating this almost since planets were discovered. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union came up with the first-ever scientific definition of a planet. With that came a new classification for these heavenly bodies that weren’t quite planets, but were more than just asteroids. While this resulted in the demotion of Pluto — previously our ninth planet — it also meant that there was a whole

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