NASA Made Travel Posters For Real Exoplanets — And They're Gorgeous
Ever wonder what life will be like when, instead of hopping on a plane for a summer trip to South America, you can ride in a shuttle bound for another planet?
The good people at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory do, and they've created an awesome set of exoplanet travel posters to inspire your daydreams.
If anything has made the vacation of the future seem more at-our-fingertips than ever, it's the recent discovery of eight new exoplanets, two of which are more Earth-like than anything astronomers have ever seen.
All eight planets also happen to be right in the "Goldilocks" zone of their respective stars, that special region around a star friendly to life as we know it.
Let NASA's (fictional) Exoplanet Travel Bureau help you imagine a world in which traveling to another planet was as unremarkable as boarding a plane for another part of the country.
You could start with a summer vacay on Kepler-16b, a planet dubbed "Tatooine" because of its system's resemblance to Luke Skywalker's home in Star Wars. NASA's Kepler spacecraft spotted this planet in 2012 by catching a dips in starlight as the planet passed in front of its star. Kepler-16b could be a rocky planet (as pictured below) or a gas giant like Saturn.
Feeling a bit more adventurous? Try Kepler-186f, whose star is so much cooler and redder than our sun that the plants that thrive there (if there are any) might shine red. Kepler-186f is also the first Earth-size planet astronomers ever found inside the "Goldilocks" zone.
Or take a weekend getaway to HD-40307g, a planet twice as voluminous as earth with eight times its mass (shown to the right).
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