Planet Data to Fuel Hunt for Life

Astronomers seeking new worlds capable of supporting life will next week unveil data on hundreds of possible planets circling other stars, quickening the pace of the high-stakes quest for the first habitable world outside our own solar system.

The flurry of new information on so-called exoplanets—those that orbit stars other than the sun—includes 400 promising prospects that NASA researchers have kept to themselves since their discovery last spring.

A carbon copy of Earth, warm and wet enough for the chemistry of life, is unlikely to be revealed among them—at least not yet. The new data, though, may offer important evidence of planets that are at least Earth-size and more likely to harbor life as we know it, writes Robert Lee Holtz for The Wall Street Journal. The full article also includes video.


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