Pix o’ XO Planets

Looks like we’ve finally got actual photos of exoplanets (better quality than VSOP planets, but more expensive, as I understand it).

About JE

James Enge is the author of the World-Fantasy-Award-nominated novel Blood of Ambrose (Pyr, April 2009). His latest book is The Wide World's End. His short fiction has appeared in Swords and Dark Magic (Harper Collins, 2010), Black Gate, the Stabby-Award-winning anthology Blackguards and elsewhere.
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13 Responses to Pix o’ XO Planets

  1. davidcapeguy says:

    The progress in this field in the past 30 years or so is amazing. Back then, you could still find serious astronomers maintaining that planets were likely quite rare and that our solar system was an anomaly. Now, planets seem to be thick as fleas everyplace they’re looked for.

    Arguing from analogy like this is risky, but I suspect that the serious search for life elsewhere is going to take the same path. We still have serious scientists claiming life is rare and possibly unique to Earth. In another generation, we’ll probably have solid evidence of life on a hundred extra-solar worlds. Not necessarily intelligent life, though that would be stupendous, but rock-solid evidence of worlds with oxygen atmospheres (which I believe would constitute a high probability of life), chlorophyll showing up in a planet’s spectrum, that kind of thing. I’m guessing that our outside-the-atmosphere observatories aren’t as far from the ability to detect that sort of thing as we amateurs know.

    Of course, we still might get Michael Rennie (or even Keanu Reeves) showing up in person with Gort, too.

    • JE says:

      Right!

      One worrying thing about the systems we’ve seen is how unlike the solar system they are–a lot of “hot Jupiters” which would seem to preclude an earthlike planet in the habitable zone. But that is probably just a function of the stuff we can see with available tech.

  2. If you look real close, you can see a Starbuck’s on one…. 🙂

  3. newguydave says:

    I think the one pic looks “as parasites might, in your blood” -Special thanks to Nautical Disaster by The Tragically Hip for that quote.

    It’s amazing how much really, really freakin’ huge stuff, looks like small stuff. Colleen Lindsay, at the Swivet, posted an interesting link today that brought me back to LJ. Apparently somebody’s ebook cover shows a nebula or something that looks like a giant space vagina.

    http://14theditch.livejournal.com/219392.html?view=1993216&style=mine#t1993216

    (If this is inappropriate, feel free to delete.)

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