To date, astronomers have confirmed the existence of 4,422 extrasolar planets in 3,280 star systems, with an additional 7,445 candidates awaiting confirmation. Of these, only a small fraction (165) have been terrestrial (aka. rocky) in nature and comparable in size to Earth – i.e., not “Super-Earths.” And even less have been found […]

The NIX camera in its cryostat. Credit: STFC NIX – a powerful new ‘luggage-sized’ cryogenic camera, will take the first pictures of young giant exoplanets. This state-of-the-art, infra-red, cryogenic camera system has been developed with ground-breaking high-contrast imaging technology to allow astronomers to directly image or ‘take pictures’ of these […]

In just nine months (October 31st, 2021), NASA’s long-awaited James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will finally be launched to space. Once operational, this next-generation observatory will use its powerful infrared imaging capabilities to study all kinds of cosmological phenomena. It will also be essential to the characterization of extrasolar planets and their atmospheres to […]