Massive new NASA exoplanet catalog unveils 126 extreme and exotic worlds

By Robert Lea | |

SPACE.COM - A new catalog of 126 worlds beyond the solar system contains a cornucopia of newly discovered planets — some have extreme and exotic natures, but others could potentially support life as we know it.

The catalog's mix of planets is further evidence of the wide and wild variety of worlds beyond our cosmic backyard; it even shows that our solar system is perhaps a little boring. Yet, despite these planets being so different than Earth and its neighbors, maybe they can still help us better understand why our planetary system looks the way it does, thus uncovering our place in the wider cosmos.

The catalog of extrasolar planets, or "exoplanets," was created using data from NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) in collaboration with the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

"With this information, we can begin to answer questions about where our solar system fits into the grand tapestry of other planetary systems," Stephen Kane, TESS-Keck Survey Principal Investigator and an astrophysicist at the University of California, Riverside, said in a statement.

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